I-Team: Don’t be a Victim to a Con Artist

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LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) Police say they always see a spike in scams during the holiday shopping season, and this year is proving to be no exception.

Our Lead I-Team Reporter Andy Mehalshick  had a chance to talk with some local seniors on Thursday about these scams?

On Thursday, Andy Mehalshick  spoke to former teachers. They have spent their lives educating generations of young people.. They are the first to admit they- at times- need to be educated about scam threats..

Carol Williams, a retired teacher told Eyewitness News “I think the younger people are more knowledgeable about these things. I just hang up if I get a call I don’t recognize or a number l know i just hang up.”

Bob McNamara says his secretary was duped by someone who claimed to be working for him. “She wired him $2,500 dollars from our bank account and unfortunately it’s probably gone forever.”

Det. Chaz Balogh of the Luzerne Co District Attorney’s Office noted  “I always try to tell ‘everyone learn the pitch and don’t make the con-man rich!’ “

Detective  Balogh investigates scams.  “We’re still seeing phone call scams. when individuals are calling people and saying their loved ones are in jail in a different county and they have to send money.”

And Balogh has this warning for holiday shoppers..be wary of free public WiFi – they are not secure.

“When you are using free WiFi we always suggest you don’t access your emaill don’t be doing any online banking don’t access any of your credit card while your using fee WiFi.”

Advice police give is never send money to someone you don’t know…

Never believe an email or phone call demanding money that threatens legal action …companies, banks and the government just don’t work that way…and what the I-Team has found is that when you forget those simple rules – that’s when you get ripped off .

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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