VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office was reminding people Wednesday to be cautious when responding to internet ads.
Many people may respond to an ad on the internet to apply for a job, purchase a product, or donate money without thinking about whether the ad is legitimate or not. But as a 17 year-old Lowndes County resident found out earlier in the week when responding to a Craigslist ad for a construction job, it's best to think before you send.
"The purported employer asked him to wire money for training materials. Of course, it's a scam. Once they wired their money, unfortunately they just lost that money," explained Lowndes County Sheriff's Office Lt. Stryde Jones.
Jones said it's important to remember that there are some simple ways to help protect your physical and financial safety when responding to an ad. If you have to meet someone, insist on a public meeting place. Never wire money to someone without meeting them first. And, if it seems too good to be true it probably is.
VSU Senior Chris Webb agreed. "When it comes to places like Craigslist and third party sources like that," said Webb, "I think it's best to try to trust your gut and talk to these people before you actually give them your money."
Senior Eric Jackson said he understands first hand why that's so important. "I've been involved in schemes and gotten hurt tryin' to find jobs online and lost money," admitted Jackson.
But, he said he had learned his lesson.
"Now, my confidence is totally gone in those different things and online applications," Jackson said.
Webb said hearing about this latest scam also made him more skeptical, but he didn't believe ads on sites like Craigslist for jobs or products are all bad. "I think they're acceptable places to get it. I'm not sure they are the best," Webb said.
Something we should all probably keep in mind.
The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office is always available to answer questions about possible scams. Detectives with the Criminal Investigation Division can be reached at 229-671-2950.