SCOTT – “Didn’t your parents tell you if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true?,” asks Michael Smith, a computer consultant in Acadiana.
That’s the lesson that sixty year old Joan Breaux of Duson was allegedly hoping a resident of Texas was never taught.
Scott police say Breaux admitted that she was the middleman for a Nigerian scammer, also confessing that she has helped with the scam nearly a dozen more times, collecting money for an alleged start up and forwarding the money via a money gram to Nigeria
“Usually when one of these scams occurs you don’t get you money back, unfortunately,” explains Jenn Love of the Better Business Bureau, “And unfortunately a lot of people are embarrassed and they won’t report it. So there’s no awareness of it and the scams keep going and going.”
According to Michael Smith, “People are always on the lookout to improve their situation. Everybody wants something for nothing. And don’t forget the people that do this for a living spend their days and nights thinking of better, more improved ways to fleece people. They prey on the ignorant, they prey on the uneducated, they prey on the desperate, and especially they prey on the elderly.”
While these scams are common, consulting with a computer or business professional can help one avoid being scammed.
Adds Smith, “I always gotta to tell people, ‘No this is a scam. No you’re not getting a cruise. That time share thing, you’re not gonna enjoy the free gift.” You know, I’m always having to be the bearer of bad news. There’s really no way to discourage someone who really really wants to believe.”
“If it sounds too good to be true, it’s gonna be a scam,” says Jenn Love, “Any job or employment opportunity that you have, they’re not going to ask for money up front. If they do, it’s not a legitimate business as well. If you have to wire money, it’s most likely a scam as well too.”
Love also added that if you think that you may be getting scammed, you can call the 24/7 Better Business Bureau Hotline at (337)-981-3497.