Commentary

Belton PD investigating local ‘grandparent scam’

MILAM COUNTY T.R.I.A.D.
Ted Hubert

The human brain is a marvelous organ, complex and powerful. Years ago the belief was that we use only 10 percent of the brain’s potential. The brain is made up of 10 billion neurons and 120 billion glial cells and the brain’s average weight is about 3 pounds (male) and 2.71 pounds (female). Wonder who counted those brain parts?

Sir John Eccles, Noble prize winner, hinted to the fact that the brain is not meant to function at 100 percent any more than our automobiles are. The human brain is infinite, so how can there be a percentage figured on anything infinite? Think about it.

Viewers of Jeopardy saw the contest between humans and a computer. IBM’s machine, named Watson, easily won the contest. The audience saw the massive computer with panel after panel of modern technology housed in a building. It would be impossible to place Watson on our shoulders and walk around with it to make the decisions our brain makes every day.

An email is received. The brain starts to work. Information is viewed and analyzed. Is the offer authentic or a scam? How can we tell? Is the document addressing you directly or does it have some catch-all greeting such as, dear friend, sir/madam, rather than a first and last name?

Do these email senders really know who is receiving the email, phone call, or letter? Are these criminals wanting the potential victim to provide that information? Clues (aka: red flags) determine the proper action.

The scam that tugs at the heart gets a victim’s attention instantly, such as using the name of a good friend needing your help in an emergency. They are sick or injured in a foreign land and need you to wire money as quick as you can. Act now. Hurry!

This scam, known as the grandparent scam, came to the atten- tion of Milam County residents some months ago, but this week KCEN-TV reported a more serious version. The con artist does call the victim by name and uses names of family members or dear friends.

The crooks have some knowledge of you and your family. This approach is more alarming and may push one into wiring money to a foreign land without checking out the details. Google in “kcentv.com” to read more

The Belton Police Department issued a warning to residents about unsolicited calls supposedly from police departments, medical agencies, or from government agencies, seeking money. The dropping of family member’s name is used. Belton PD is responding to several reports of people sending money to Mexico and to other states. The money you send is uninsured and not recoverable. These crooks are good and being convincing is their tool.

You cannot hurt their feelings. Giving them a piece of your mind will do you no good. You might feel like jumping down their throat and tap dancing on their liver, but it is better to calm down and just delete the offer. The brain is powerful; use it to protect yourself.

If you have first-hand information regarding this scam, call Belton Police Department, 254- 933-5843.

County Commissioners passed a proclamation presented by the TRIAD that declares every October as Crime Prevention Month. It is easier to prevent a crime than to investigate one. tedh@alpha1.net


Click here for digital edition
2011-09-22 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


Special Sections


Special Sections
Archive