Written by Patty Decker Tuesday, 22 January 2013 14:23
Computer scams are nothing new, but according to local law enforcement officials, residents continue to report close calls when it comes to their financial security.
Hillsboro Police Chief Dan Kinning, said some of the more common computer crimes involve older people being asked to send money to someone they love.
“Basically what (the scammer) will do is look on Facebook pages and get information about a person’s grandchildren or other relatives,” he said. “It’s easy to do—everybody has Facebook accounts.”
The scammer will then call a relative pretending to be a grandchild or other close family member asking for money, Kinning said.
“Usually the person says they are in another country and have either been in a bad accident or are in jail and they don’t have enough money to get back home or deal with the problem,” he said.
Kinning said for awhile he had a lot of reports on that type of scam, but normally his office will get at least one a week.
“Anyone with a computer is seeing this type of fraud,” he said.
Other e-mail scams, he said, involve false prizes being offered or someone asking people to make investments with high interest yields or credit card payment uploads.
The best advice Kinning said he can give to potential elderly victims or others with perceived vulnerabilities is to not believe everything on the Internet or in an e-mail.
“A lot of people have told me something sounded legitimate until they checked it out,” he said, “but it’s always good to remember that if it doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t.”
While some people don’t fall for what seems an obvious scam, others could be too confused or embarrassed to report it as a crime.
For more information or to report illegal activities, Kinning encourages them to call his office at 620-947-3440.