SCAMS: City police offer advice to seniors

COLUMBIA CITY — The Columbia City Police Department provided vital information to seniors during a presentation called “Scams” on Wednesday.The presentation, held at Woodlands Senior Center on Opportunity Drive, covered ways to protect personal identification, personal finances as well as how to spot various methods used to lure people into giving away that vital information. Food and drinks were provided as well as musical entertainment from Keyboard Artist Floyd “Joe” Thomas.“If it sounds too good to be true, check out the website,” said Det. Sgt. Robert (Chip) Stephenson to seniors. “If it looks too good to be true, it’s probably fraud.”As the creativity of scammers continues to build, Stephenson cautioned seniors who have e-mail.“The e-mail system has really changed things,” said Stephenson. “If you get a message from your bank don’t link to another place. The banks still like to do a lot of stuff over the regular U.S. mail so use that process, and keep a local bank so you can access the information at any time.”Stephenson also said e-mails coming from foreign countries or asking to pay shipping and handling or a service charge, are often fraudulent.“Also, make sure that if they’re doing online prescriptions, that they are doing them from a reputable company, and not anybody else other than United States and Canada,” said Stephenson.According to Stephenson, the police department tries to make the presentation once a year, but they are more than willing to answer questions.“Call us. We’ll talk to you, give you our advice and try to help you as best as we can,” said Stephenson.Discussion was held after the presentation as Stephenson answered questions.