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Acadia Parish Sheriff’s advice on avoiding scams

Posted: 3:20 PM, Oct 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-22 16:32:32-04

Acadia Parish Sheriff KP Gibson is warning citizens to watch out for scams.

Gibson released the following the statement today on scams:

During my career in law enforcement, I have seen many types of ways as to how people are scammed. It seems as the years go by, that those who are “scam artist” (for the lack of a better title), seem to dwell on people with the intent to scare them or they may intimidate them into making a quick decision. By applying pressure on their intended victim, the potential victim becomes concerned, frightened and pressured to act quickly.

During the past year, our department has received numerous complaints of attempted scams and even successful scams. During our investigations, we have learned that the vast majority of these scams are occurring from “scam artists” who are outside of the United States. They use technology just like unwanted solicitors, to make us believe that they operate within our country and within our region. We have seen phone numbers being illegally listed as local government, businesses and even law enforcement due to this technology.

So the question remains how do we stop this? The answer is the only way to stop it is by educating our citizens.

When a citizen receives communication from a source that they did not seek or do not do business with, they need to skeptical of what the caller is asking of them. If a caller asks for personal information or solicits money for fines, medical expenses or other needs, a citizen needs to call their local law enforcement and not speak to these callers again.

We also need to use common sense when dealing with these callers. They are fast talking and they know how to intimidate or confuse their potential victim. If you owe the IRS money or you have committed a crime, you would know about it. Don’t let these people talk to you, as the longer you talk with them they seem realistic and they will do everything in their power to convince you to send your money. Scammer will often receive funds from a person and continue to call as they will work a single source until they can’t get any more money.

Another issue to be aware of is that they will direct you to get a specific type of card from a local retailer (green dot is a common one). When they call you back they will advise you to provide them with a number associated with this card. Usually this number is concealed and has to be scratched off. Once the scammer receives this number, the funds are withdrawn immediately.

My last advice is that if you receive a call which you believe is a scam, hang up the phone. If they call back don’t answer it. They will continue to call back for a period of time, but when they realize that you won’t take the call, they will move on unfortunately to another potential victim.

Help yourself to avoid becoming a victim.

Sheriff KP Gibson