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Guest column/Beware of scams that pop up every spring

March 25, 2012
By FRED ABDALLA , The Herald-Star

Spring has finally sprung.

Every spring, there will be more thieves and con artists spring up throughout Jefferson County and the Ohio Valley than there are dandelions. If you want to throw your money away to a con artist, go ahead, but don't say I didn't warn you. If you want to get your money's worth and not get ripped off, then contact one of the many contractors in the valley who are established and reputable.

Thieves and con men will knock on your door or call with sweetheart deals. Don't fall for it - say no and contact someone you can trust. The undesirables will convince you they have great deals on asphalting your driveway, remodeling your house, repair your roof, replace your windows, etc. Don't trust them. Contact a local established contractor, and check references on work they have done. Never make final payment on the work until you are completely satisfied. It's your money, spend it wisely.

Shifting gears now to windfall cash you have inherited through the mail. Really, who in some foreign country who you may never heard of leaves you millions of dollars? Just send them $3,000 or $4,000 to process the paperwork, and the money is yours. Yea, right. If you believe this, then you believe that elephants can fly.

These are scams. I, along with the Herald-Star, have informed people about these scams, but people still fall for them and lose thousands of dollars.

All people are targets for these crimes, especially our senior citizens. If you're contacted by these thieves about these bogus deals, contact your local police, or call me. In fact, tell these con men and thieves that you have to talk with law enforcement first. Never give your Social Security number or any bank information.

Remember, once you give or mail your money to get that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, your money is gone. I can't tell you how to spend your money, I just don't want you to be a victim of crime.

If you have any questions, please call me.

(Abdalla is the Jefferson County sheriff.)

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