East Texans watching out for scammers

By Layron Livingston - bio - email

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

Times may be tough for you, but it is prime time for the scammers. From recession to billion dollar stimulus packages, these days, East Texans are doing what they can to keep their wallets full, but some say watch out for those looking to get their hands on your hard earned cash. Here's what you need to know to avoid becoming a victim...

From the disabled and elderly to the young college student, there's no discriminating.

"You work hard for your money all your life and then somebody gets it from you when you're 95 years old," said Oleta Turner of Winnsboro.

"[I] started reading it and it freaked me out," said Catherine Casey.

Casey said she got an email from someone threatening to assassinate her.

"They want a reply and they most likely reply back with, we won't hurt you if you send us money," explained Casey.

"Most of them, we think, are being sent from other countries," said Don Martin with Tyler PD.

Bonus points for creativity, Deedee Hanson said she was approached the old fashioned way. Two weeks ago, she got a letter and a check in the mail.

"It looks real," said Hanson. "[It] makes people get excited, and then it's, it's a scam."

Hanson was supposed to deposit the check into her account, then write another check covering the fees.

"Then in a couple of weeks the bank's going to call you and say hey, where's my money, that check wasn't any good," said Linda Baily with the Better Business Bureau.

She said that is how that one normally works. She said her office is getting a lot more calls.

"Because they're sending more out. I think they realize that people are getting more desperate and they're more likely to take something that's too good to be true," explained Baily.

When people are hurting the most, cell phones aren't even safe.

When new scams come in Baily said the research can begin.

"We have to kind of be on our toes about what's going on," she said.

They are committed to keeping you protected.

If you have gotten a call, letter, email, or text message your not sure about, the East Texas Better Business Bureau offers their services for free. For more information simply go to Know More on 7 at kltv.com and click the "Better Business Bureau" link.