Watch out for scams

Published 10:33 am Thursday, June 7, 2018

A Davie resident lost $2,000 earlier this year to a scam – someone who claimed to be a deputy sheriff but wasn’t.

Scenes like this happen all too often, and the best prevention may be education, said Davie Sheriff J.D. Hartman.

“It is a different world we live in today. Our personal information is out there, ready and waiting, to be accessed by thieves.”

There has even been a case of thieves accessing a Social Security account and receiving benefits meant for someone else.

“You must constantly be vigilant against the possibility of someone attempting to obtain your personal information by either frightening you during a phone call or by hacking into your computer or cell phone.”

Hartman offers the following tips:

• never give out your full name, date of birth orSocial Security number, credit card numbers or checking account numbers over the phone or on an unsecure, untrusted website;

• do not use only debit or credit cards for online purchases, use a trusted pay source such as PayPal (Not all online merchants have secure sites.);

• check your credit at least twice a year and look for open accounts or charges you didn’t make, and if you notice something wrong, report it immediately to law enforcement and the service provider.

“If you receive a phone call, email or letter that you have won the lottery or Publisher’s Clearing House, trust me and do not send them money in order to collect your winnings as it is a scam,” Hartman said.

“If you receive a call that you have an IRS lien against you and need to send money, do not give the thieves any information as it is a scam.

“If you receive a call that you have warrants against you, do not give the thieves any information as it is a scam.

“These are just a few examples, there are numberous scams out there and thieves devise new ones every day,” he said. “Please, do not ever give out your personal information, no matter who calls you.”

He advised residents to read their mail carefully, and shred all unessential documents that contain personal information and account numbers.