It's not a new scam, but it continues to work. The dirtball scammer targets individuals and tells them there is a problem with their computer and they can take care of it remotely but it will cost them money in the form of gift cards. Unfortunately, someone in Kenyon recently fell for this scam and is now out $2,500. The Kenyon Police Department posted about the scam, but they also wanted residents to have these conversations with friends and family that may fall victim to these scams. 

The post has been shared nearly 200 times and has a heartfelt suggestion at the end of it. Check it out for yourself.

If you are unsure how to start this conversation with a parent or elderly neighbor, here are some suggestions from the FTC. 

  • Who’s calling… and why? The law says telemarketers must tell you it’s a sales call, the name of the seller and what they’re selling before they make their pitch. If you don’t hear this information, say “no thanks,” and get off the phone.
  • What’s the hurry? Fast talkers who use high pressure tactics could be hiding something. Take your time. Most legitimate businesses will give you time and written information about an offer before asking you to commit to a purchase.
  • If it’s free, why are they asking me to pay? Question fees you need to pay to redeem a prize or gift. Free is free. If you have to pay, it's a purchase — not a prize or a gift.
  • Why am I “confirming” my account information — or giving it out? Some callers have your billing information before they call you. They’re trying to get you to say “okay” so they can claim you approved a charge.
  • What time is it? The law allows telemarketers to call only between 8 am and 9 pm. A seller calling earlier or later is ignoring the law.
  • Do I want more calls like this one? If you don’t want a business to call you again, say so and register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. If they call back, they’re breaking the law.

To the staff at the Kenyon Police Department, we appreciate the work you do and thank you for the advice at the end. You took a person's misfortune and turned it into a teaching moment for everyone.