The Apache Junction Police Department advises residents to continue being vigilant in avoiding the ever-evolving scams, fraud and con games. Some people think they could not be tricked, fooled or conned into handing over money for fraudulent deals, according to a press release, but it happens.
Con artists are experts in human psychology and behavior. They know how to gain a person’s confidence with smooth talk and a self-assured manner, according to the release.
One of the latest scams being circulated is out of Malaysia using Facebook to reach out to people. Recently an Apache Junction resident was contacted on the social media site by a man claiming to be named Fredrick Brandon from Scotland. After “chatting” for a little over two weeks with “Fredrick,” the scammer told this resident he wanted to send her a gift for her birthday, but she would need to pay for the $1,250 shipping charges.
“Fredrick” provided the resident with the name Wong Gek Mui and Malaysian bank details, according to police. At some point another person identifying herself as Ester with the Malaysian customs contacted the resident to say the package was being held up and she would need to send an additional $3,000 to have it shipped. The resident contacted the police department and did not lose any additional money, police said.
Using social media is a new spin on an old game. Senior citizens are often targeted, according to police. Scammers spend a lot of time polishing their lines for enticing seniors to pay.
Police warn residents to think before responding to messages using these offers or wording:
Here are some tips that can alert you to these types of scams:
•You must act now!
•You’ve won a “free” gift or vacation.
•Pay only postage and handling.
•You must send money, give a credit card number, a bank account number or have a check picked up by a carrier before you have a chance to carefully consider the offer.
•You don’t need to research their company with anyone, including a lawyer or accountant, Better Business Bureau or other consumer protection agency.
•You don’t need written information about their company or references.
•You can’t afford to miss this high profit, no risk offer.
People who believe they are victims or fraud or a con game should call the Apache Junction Police Department at 480-982-8260 or the Arizona Attorney General’s office at 602-542-5763, or visit www.azag.gov/consumer/home. Con artists count on the reluctance of their victims to acknowledge they have been tricked, according to police.
The Apache Junction Independent is delivered weekly.