Before You Send Money, Gift Cards or Money Orders In The Mail, Think Twice

Sheldon, Iowa — It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Unless you fall prey to the scams that circulate around the holidays.

The Sheldon Police Department says there are a variety of scams being perpetrated on area residents during this holiday season. Police say scammers prey primarily on the elderly and needy.

Some scammers email the intended victim, telling them that they have won a large prize, but need to pay “fees” associated with collecting the prizes. These are invariably scams. In others the crooks initiate contact with their intended victims through social media. Officials say you need to be VERY sure of the identity of the person contacting you through social media. And, of course, there’s that old classic, the “Grandparent Scam” in which the intended victim is contacted by telephone and informed that their grandchild is in jail in a far off location, and need you to send several thousand dollars to bail out the grandchild. This scam has been around for a long time, but is still being perpetrated because people are still falling for it.

No matter what type of scam being perpetrated, they all have something in common…once you send your money, it’s gone, and your chances of getting it back are HIGHLY unlikely.

Sheldon Police urge you to use common sense when you’re contacted by someone promising something that sounds too good to be true, or a threat is made for your arrest, it’s most likely a scam.

In addition to scams, if you are having packages delivered to your home this time of year, be aware of “porch pirates.” Porch pirates are people who come along and scoop up packages that have been delivered to your home and left on the porch. Make arrangements with your neighbors to accept packages that are delivered to your home. If your packages are left on the porch, those Christmas presents you’ve ordered and had delivered may well end up as Christmas presents for those you did NOT intend to receive them.

If you have any questions, or think you’re being scammed, contact the Sheldon Police Department at 712-324-2525.

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