An increase in occurrences of emails scams has prompted warnings from Massena Police Chief Timmy Currier.
In an news release, Currier says the scam is characterized by the authors of the email portraying themselves as someone the recipient knows claiming to be the victim of a robbery while traveling. In some cases it is oversees travel and in others, travel within the United States.
The email goes on to say that the author of the email has received very little assistance from law enforcement and they have no money or ability to get back home.
What makes these scams more believable is that in many cases the person they are pretending to be is traveling.
“Unfortunately we must take every precaution we can against this type of activity, be it an email scam or the recently popular telephone scam where the caller pretended to be in trouble and in jail and needed bail money,” said Currier.
“Should you receive such an email or phone call, it is very likely a scam. Should you decide to act you will lose the money you send and there is nearly no chance to recover it or for law enforcement to be able to assist you,” he said.
“These type of scams prey on people’s decency and good will, so we must take a step back when we receive such an email or phone call and determine if it is legitimate,” he said.
Currier advises that, if you have any reason to believe such a message, “take prudent and necessary steps to confirm the story by calling the law enforcement agency involved. You can always call relatives of this person to confirm it as well.
“Do not, under any circumstances send money or give out credit card or banking information in cases where you have not confirmed it 100 percent.”
“Let there be no doubt and let’s be clear, these type of phone calls and emails are almost ALWAYS a scam, “ Currier said.
For more information on avoiding scams and identity theft, there is information at http://onguardonline.gov/, and http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft2012/.
And Currier advises people who get unsolicited email offers or spam to send the messages to email@example.com.