A scam can happen to anyone. All it takes is a victim to fall prey to the scammer’s story that usually deals with someone in trouble including the victim.
Yesterday, a middle-aged woman in Tyler was scammed out of a large sum of money, according to Don Martin, Tyler Police Department spokesperson. She received a call from someone identifying themselves as an IRS agent. She was told that if she did not send them a large sum of money for back taxes owed, she and her husband would have warrants out for their arrest by the end of the day. The man kept her on the phone all day, giving her instructions on how to ultimately send the money to an unknown destination by utilizing Green Dot Cards.
A scam artist loves to use very popular ways of getting your money, Western Union, Money Gram and any form of loadable credit cards / debit cards, Martin said. These include gift cards (Green Dot Card) or any other type of reloadable bank card.
Never send anyone money unless you have double-checked and identified who you are sending the cash to. If they request any multiple transactions that include multiple cash amounts, multiple cards, multiple wires, these are indicators of a scam in progress.
Here are the most popular scams in our area that we have received reports on recently, according to Martin:
1) IRS wants you to send them money for owed back taxes.2) Failure to show for jury duty.3) Family member in trouble with medical or arrest issues in or out of the country.4) Lottery winner requiring them to pay the processing fees and taxes.5) Investment scams (real-estate or business opportunities).
Always confirm all information that you have received from the caller with a trusted family member, local law enforcement authority, Better Business Bureau, before any transaction is completed.