Avoiding scammers

Scammers continue to target Summerland residents with various offers and requests for cash.

Scammers continue to target Summerland residents with various offers and requests for cash.

The most common scams over the past year are not much different from the scams used previously.

Bogus tax refunds, phoney bank investigations, cash requests and other ploys continue to circulate.

In past years, some have been bilked as a result of the fake offers, sometimes losing huge sums of money.

As long as unscrupulous people continue to lure victims with the promise of easy money, these scams will continue.

Details may change, but the structure remains the same.

It takes little effort for a scammer to send out an email to multiple recipients. If even one or two respond, the scammer will make money from the ploy.

Once banking details or money has been sent, it is difficult if not impossible to recover the funds.

Stories of scam victims are disheartening, partly because the victims are often the most vulnerable and partly because in hindsight the warning signs were present.

There are ways to determine if an offer is legitimate or questionable.

If an offer has the name of a government agency or a financial institution, look up the number in the directory and check to see if the message was genuine.

A quick online search can also reveal if an offer is nothing more than a scam.

And if the offer leaves the recipient with any suspicions or feelings of uneasiness, it is best to delete the message and ignore it.

In short, caution is needed whenever an unexpected offer appears.

The scammers will continue, but with prevention and vigilance, it will become harder for them to make money from their schemes.