The art of the scam
It starts with something that appears too good to be true.
A call telling you that you have won a sweepstakes and you stand to gain thousands of dollars.
Visions of paying off bills, buying a new car or house or, even socking money away for that vacation you have always wanted dash through your head immediately.
You listen intently to the voice on the other end of the phone.
You are told that there is a check, with your name on it, waiting to be collected. All you have to do is pony up what seems to be a small amount of money to pay for taxes or insurance on the prize money.
Seems simple enough but, before you know it, you have sent a check or given a credit card number to pay that nominal fee or tax and the likelihood that you will ever see that prize money is nil.
You were just taken in by a scam.
We have all heard of the scams as they have been all over the news for years. But, when you are the one getting the call about thousands of dollars coming your way, the thought of due diligence is not high on the priority list.
Don't feel bad. If you have been taken in by this complicated scheme you are certainly not alone.
Hundreds of people each and every year fall victim to this kind of scam. Recently, off-shoots of this ploy has made its way to Rutherford County.
At least two individuals have been approached, either in person or by phone, in an attempt to get money from unsuspecting people.
Fortunately, those two residents were not susceptible to the ploy, thought something was not right and notified authorities.
The people that perpetrate these scams can only be considered to be the lowest common human denominator. They prey on the hopes and dreams we all have of hitting the jackpot and making life better.
They are slick, fast-talking and appear very smooth in their delivery.
But, they lie, cheat and steal for your money.
If you get such a call or visit, do your homework and ask questions.
Like the old saying goes: "if it seems too good to be true ... it probably is."
By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board
The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark