OUR VIEW: Just ask, to avoid scams

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And once a person and their money are parted, it’s exceedingly difficult to get it back.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

That’s an expression worth remembering now — and as we get closer to the busy shopping season, a time when what we might receive at Christmas starts to cloud our minds. In fact, it’s something everyone, of any age, should have etched into their brains, as incidents of fraud and scams press on, seemingly unabated.

That may sound a tad harsh or pessimistic.

It should be a good thing if someone steps up and wants to hand over thousands of dollars — or a bridge — for seemingly no reason. Or at least for no reason a person would reasonably expect to have anything to do with them. Unfortunately, windfalls like that are usually pipe dreams.

Whether it’s greed, a simple feeling of not wanting to upset people or for some other reason, folks fall for scams all the time. And so, the scammers keep calling, emailing and writing, hoping for a response — just enough to encourage the behaviour.

And once a person and their money are parted, it’s exceedingly difficult for the authorities to get it back.

Yet, police and financial institutions fight hard to try to prevent scams and the people who run them from taking advantage of people. Even so, we cannot rely on them. Individuals must be on guard — for the day will come when someone will try to weasel our hard-earned cash from our pockets.

When that happens, and the whole thing makes you curious or uncomfortable, just ask questions. Ask them who they are. Ask for their phone number. Ask for their boss. And then ask to phone them back.

And if you are still not feeling good about it, just hang up. It’s the equivalent of walking away from panhandlers on the street.

Police continually tell us the best way to find out if something is a scam or not, is to call the agency purported to be offering the windfall. Contact them directly and ask if the offer is on the up and up. Most times, if it’s a bank or Canada Revenue Agency, they’ll tell you it’s a scam and you should ignore it.

There are people out there who want to separate us from our money for nasty reasons. It’s up to us to know the difference between them and the legitimately good people out there. Sometimes, all it takes to be sure is to ask.

Just Posted

Saanich driver races to Chairman’s Trophy in Mission

Bill Okell has driven the same race car for 44 years

Local school districts gear up for the new back to school season

Seismic upgrades, inclusion and student safety are priorities

Camosun’s continuing education site a quick hit

Hundreds of courses available to launch new career opportunities

Details remains spare as investigation into high-speed crash in Victoria continue

Police watch-dog has assumed investigation of crash that sent three to hospital

Peninsula firefighters spend the summer in intensive training

No rest for personnel as they improve high tower, role-plays and marina fire fighting skills

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Most Read