Scams create flood of alerts from South Mississippi agencies

Scams create flood of alerts from South Mississippi agencies

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - The scam alerts are coming from everywhere, and the tactics are too numerous to count.

“Yesterday, they wanted me to take out a warranty on my car,” said Melanie Raboteau of Bay St. Louis.

Tommy Martin has had plenty himself.

“I have had calls before from Social Security and also from pay day loan companies saying that I owned them money," he said.

Raboteau has had several scam attempts to her just in in the last few days. One was obvious.

“They called me and wanted me to start paying my student loans,” she said. “And I told ‘em, I’m 72 years old. If I haven’t paid them off this time, you all are not going to get any student loan money.”

Scam prevention training is done at places like the Hancock County Senior Citizens Center, but even then, there are some who still fall victim.

“Because they're afraid of what these people might come and do to them or their families,” Martin said.

Raboteau added, “They probably know, but not thinking it would ever happen to them, they just fall prey to them, a lot of them.”

It’s not just seniors; everybody can be a victim.

Last week, the George County Sheriff's Office said scammers went after friends and family of sex offenders.

State employees were warned by the Attorney General's Office that scammers are targeting them in an attempt to reroute their direct deposits to another bank account.

Even savvy business people can be duped, especially during tax season.

“They know that sending a mass to those very business that they’re very likely to get a couple of business believing that it’s time to update their software and they fall for the scams,” said David Allen, chief investigator and cybercrime analyst at the Waveland Police Department.”

Allen has been fighting scams for 12 years.

“We need to remember two things our parents taught us,” he said. “No. 1 is you can’t get something for nothing; and the other is if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

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