BEAUREGARD PARISH, LA (KPLC) - With the holidays comes an uptick of scams like those seen by the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office has gotten several reports-- over 30 in the past year-- of people being scammed into buying prepaid cards for people they meet online.
“The man believed he was trying to help this lady out, she was in need, that she had small children and she was trying to get Christmas presents for her children and he complied with her request, thinking he was trying to help someone who seriously needed help,” Chief Detective Mark Herford with the sheriff’s office said.
In this case, Herford said it was already too late when the victim realized it was a scam.
“Several thousand dollars before she propositioned for the large sum which was like $25,000. Luckily, he shut it down at that point," Herford said.
This online scam isn’t the only one Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office is keeping an eye on. The Secret Shopper scam is another one Herford wants to warn people about.
“You just get a money order or check in the mail and the the instructions are, go cash this check, you get to keep what you spend but then send us the remaining money back, that’s a clue, that’s a red flag," Herford said. "Well, several days later the bank will contact the victim and say hey this check was no good, it’s a fraud and that will put them on the hook for the entire amount.”
He said the holidays are prime time for scammers to strike.
“People are spending money around the holidays,and they maybe have more money that they’ve put back preparing for the holidays. So that’s a golden opportunity for them to try and operate their scam," Herford said. "You know, if they only get $400 out of ya, if they can get 10 people a day $400 a day, that’s a pretty good pay day for a scam artist.”
Herford’s main piece of advice:
“Don’t do it, that’s a scam. Do not do that,” he said.
If you’re unsure if you’re being scammed, the sheriff’s office encourages you to report it to them.