Don't Be Fooled By Scams

By Joelyn Hansen

I’ll admit there’s something to admire about a scammer. I disagree with what they do 100 percent, but they do possess a little creativity and ingenuity thinking up scams to bilk good citizens out of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars. If only they could use those skills for good.

If you look at the list of scams created over the years, it’s no wonder why people fall victim to these demon schemers. They play on emotion, greed, ignorance and sometimes kindness to get to their end goal.

Just the other day a resident called into dispatch to report a scammer that tried soliciting her. The caller tried to pass themselves off as a young relative (they’ve usually done their homework and have an actual family name) that is out of the country and in trouble. He asked her to send money to get back home. Luckily, she was smart enough to ask the kid what his mother’s maiden name was before she would send him any money – course, the caller hung up.

She’s not the first to have this happen to and she definitely won’t be the last!

Even I was targeted by a scammer while inquiring about a rental property on Craigslist. I received an email from someone acting as the property owner. They never asked for any money, but the email was filled with red flags indicating they eventually would. It turned out the person in the email was a phony.

Unfortunately, catching and arresting scammers is difficult. Often they live in other countries where U.S. law is not upheld. Education is really our most valuable tool in preventing residents falling victim to scams.

Check out these websites at and for information about different scams.