With hurricane, flooding comes scam season

With hurricane, flooding comes scam season

With the devastation in Texas and Louisiana, scams created by false charities are sure to follow. They will accept your donation and then deliver no relief to the flooding victims. A donation to the American Red Cross will make sure your donation gets to the right place. Another good choice is www.globalgiving.org. Check it out.
Or you may want to donate to one of the local businesses or organizations that are collecting goods for delivery and distribution in the storm-ravaged areas we have now seen so many tragic images from. Learn more about local collections now underway in a story page 1A.
Speaking of scams, we’ve recently been the victim of one and we hope that none of our readers have fallen for it. It started with an ad mailed to us in an envelope with a local return address. That’s how it escaped detection. We published the ad. (Receptionist/Admin, 15-20 hours weekly, $25.50 and hour.)
We were contacted by a reader who had responded and then realized the ad didn’t pass the smell test. That’s when our reception/subscripion/soon-to-be classified sales person Tosh Pierce went to work. She replied to the email address in the ad and soon received a convoluted reply giving her instructions.
On Thursday, she received from the scammer two seriously legitimate-looking checks totaling $4,800 with instructions to deposit them into her account, keep a large chunk for herself and send them the balance in a wire transfer.
You know how this was supposed to end: Tosh would deposit the checks and send them their cut on a Green Dot Money Card or some such — untraceable and unrecoverable. Then, after it became too late, Tosh would learn that the checks she had deposited were no good. She would have lost the money she wired the scammer plus whatever fees the bank charged for their inconvenience.
As it turns out, we are the ones scammed — $195 for the ads we published for the outfit we learned too late was a scammer. We sent the bill to the local address and got a call from the business person who knew nothing about it. Nor did he feel like making a donation!

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