Patrol Report

Thomas Catri

As scams get more sophisticated, we need to get more clever. Scammers are getting increasingly sophisticated in their attempts to get your money or personal details. Scams target people of all backgrounds, ages, and income levels across America. They no longer target just the gullible. They still come in letters, phone calls, and now even text messages. The reason why various scams continue to succeed is because they look like the real thing and catch you off guard, especially when you’re not expecting it.

Every month of the year should be scams awareness month. The Patrol would like to simply remind our residents what to look out for, because attempts to scam the innocent are happening right around us. Protect yourself and help those who are vulnerable by keeping your computers and mobile devices secure. Be careful when shopping online. Keep your personal details secure. Don’t respond to phone calls about your computer, such as asking for remote access. Some Sun Lakes residents have recently received phone calls from someone claiming to be with Century Link. They state that your computer speed is not optimal and that they want to run a test and take you to another website so that they can remotely access your computer to find out what the problem is. The scammer may then try to persuade you into buying unnecessary software or ask you for personal details and your bank or credit card details. Don’t agree to transfer money or goods for someone else. In addition, do not open a suspicious text message, pop up window, or click-to-open attachments in emails.

Anyone can fall for a scam, but the elderly are often hit hardest, as they can be over-trusting or afflicted by illness, such as dementia. Many can lose their life savings, get into debt, or have health problems. If you care for an elderly person, look out for the warning signs. Do they receive a lot of junk mail or phone calls from strangers, or have they become secretive when discussing finances? Never be a victim! Don’t let the bad guy win!

If you have been scammed, report the scam to police and local prosecutors. We cannot overemphasize the importance of not falling for a scam in the first place. The sad fact is the vast majority of people scammed simply never see their money again. Educating yourself and helping others who are most vulnerable is your best protection.