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Protect yourself from scams

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –   As part of National Consumer Protection Week, the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs is trying to get you to be more savvy about managing and protecting your money.

Phony lotteries and fake sweepstakes come at South Georgians through the mail, on the Internet, and the telephone. Law enforcement say they hear from victims almost everyday, and warn you to scam proof yourself, or you could lose your identity and all your money.

Pink Whelchel says he receives lots of scam mail.  "I'd say the last 6 to 8 weeks we've been receiving anywhere from 8 to 10 a day," he said.

Some say he has won a million dollars, or could help some troubled people, if he sends a check to pay for taxes or fees.

 "If they get the check, they have the routing number of your bank. They also have a copy of you signature," Whelchel said.

Whelchel thinks he is targeted because he is a senior citizen, but Sheriff's Investigators say they are seeing more young victims.

"They tend to be more naive when it comes to financial matters. And young people tend to want to get the quick satisfaction," said Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Captain Craig Dodd.

And these scam artists are always looking for new cons. One South Georgian got a phone call reportedly from his grandson helping people in Haiti, and needed money wired to him. Anything to get your bank or credit card numbers.

"The scam situation is continuous. We have the sweepstakes , you won the lottery," Dodd said.

Whelchel said he gets those scam letters everyday, and wants to warn South Georgians not to fall for them.

Sheriff's Investigators say if you get a letter or e-mail saying you have to send money to collect your prize, it's a scam. They say never write back, or reply to the e-mails, or you will start getting ten times as many.

The Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs has a lot of good advice to help you protect yourself from scams or fraud.

  •  Click HERE and HERE for more information

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