Delaware County Sheriff's Office advises citizens to be wary of scams

By WBNG News

Credit: MGN Online

Delaware County Sheriff's Office advises citizens to be wary of scams

April 4, 2013 Updated Apr 4, 2013 at 2:33 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) In a news release issued Thursday, the Delaware County Sheriff's Office said it has begun receiving inquiries and reports of potential frauds and scams. 

According to the news release:

Some are home grown, but the majority originate from afar and are being set to you via cyberspace.  I am taking this opportunity to revisit some pertinent information published earlier concerning same. 

Tis the season for an influx of roving contractors. Some repair scams abound.  Fly-by-night con artists promise low prices and speedy repairs.  They often are never seen again once they receive a deposit.  If they do perform the work, it is often shoddy, unfinished or unsafe.  In an effort to avoid being scammed, demand to be shown a copy of a contractor’s liability insurance policy and contact the insurer to make sure that the policy is valid.  A legitimate local contractor will often ask for one-third of the project before commencement; another third midway through and the remainder at the completion of the project. Some people have overpaid because they were anxious to get the problem solved quickly. It is always a good idea to solicit quotes from more than one contractor.

Major Scams: Beware of  giving  your personal or financial information to someone contacting you with a matter of urgency or promise of unanticipated wealth.  Scam artists use the element of surprise to trick you into compromising your identity, which makes you vulnerable to identity theft.

Some scams involve alerting you that a friend or family member is being detained or is stranded in a foreign country and needs financial assistance to get home.  Another involves giving you a windfall of a few million dollars in exchange for a few hundred dollars which will be used as a transaction fee.  Remember:  If the offer appears too good to be true, be suspicious and if there is urgency attached, be doubly suspicious.

*Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming e-mails, including clicking  links contained within those messages because they may contain computer viruses.

*Be aware of organizations with copy-cat names similar to but not exactly the same as those of reputable charities.

*Rather than following a purported link to a website, verify the legitimacy of non-profit organizations by utilizing  various Internet-based resources that may assist in confirming the group’s existence and its non-profit status.

*Do not be pressured into making speedy expenditures, as reputable entities do not use such tactics.

*Verify, Verify, Verify everything.  Be alert, be cautious, and be suspicious.  Question what seems illogical  and listen to your instincts when they are shouting to you, “This can’t be right.”

Most scam artists cannot gain access to your money or information without your assistance.  You are the front line of defense.  Be on guard.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.