BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — There is a lot at stake when you fall victim to a scam, but one local attorney has a simple first step if you do.
“There are a number of scams that people fall victim to, lots of them are via the internet, some of them are telephone scams,” says Janeane Abbott, an attorney with Abbott Prescott Attorneys at Law.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office made a public service announcement on Facebook regarding a scam where the alleged scammer claimed that the victim had a warrant out for their arrest.
Abbott says, “generally people fall for these scams because it’s something that’s pertinent to them.” But these scams are not limited to warrants. “You get phone calls from companies or from people purporting to be of government entities or agencies, whereby they’re asking to collect some sort of fees or fines that you may owe,” she says.
“Generally like these types of scams disproportionately affect the elderly, low-income people… and so when it does happen to them, they don’t go out and procure an attorney to remedy the situation, mainly because they don’t have the resources to do so,” she explains.
Ultimately, these calls are fake, and Abbott says you should hang up because “the city of Baton Rouge is not calling you, the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s office is also not calling you.”
Handling these calls is easy ––– just hang up. If you have any doubt about the call, call the organization the caller claims to be from to ensure it is not them.
Abbott warns that people should be cautious when sharing information online. Sometimes harmless games can be ways for scammers to get personal information.
“You see fun, cute games on Facebook that’s like create your elf name or your Bridgerton name, and it asks you to use your first name, your mother’s maiden name, your first pet’s name, some sort of that information, which is generally a very common security question. So that’s one way when you put out that sensitive personal information, even when it’s in the form of some sort of cute, clever name… you’re giving someone access to information that generally they wouldn’t have.”
So what is the solution if you fall victim to a scam? “The first step that one should take if they do believe that they become a victim of some sort of fraud or scam is to contact their local police department or Sheriff’s department and report the crime,” says Abbott.
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