Thursday, September 28, 2006
Watch out for con artists
There are a lot of scams out there, seemingly more than ever.
A few weeks back I was outside a local business, in the parking lot at night talking with Naylond Hayes.
We were discussing city business (Coach is an alderman) and, of course, Holly Springs High School basketball. The season is just around the corner.
A man drove up to us in a small, white pickup. He asked for $12, saying that’s how much he lacked to replace a tire on his trailer broken down on Highway 78.
I was suspicious, as was Coach.
We asked him some questions and became more suspicious.
“Where are you from?” I asked.
“Potts Camp,” he said.
His trailer was broken down; he was driving a vehicle; why didn’t he go home and get some money or recruit some help from friends and neighbors?
We didn’t give him any money. He drove off.
Ironically, just two weeks ago, I was at another store in Holly Springs buying gas. This was in the daytime hours.
A man walked up, and asked, “Hey, buddy, could you spare $12. I’m broken down on the highway and that’s all I need to get my trailer tire fixed.”
I quickly said, “no,” and did a bit of a double take. I thought I’d seen that guy before and heard that story, too.
He walked over to another guy at another gas pump and begged for $12.
That gentleman, too, said no.
I realized he was the same suspicious character from a week or so before.
I quickly tried to get his tag number before he drove away. I missed it.
I was mad. Here’s a guy going around our city, lying to folks and most likely getting some money. We’re a giving people. We have a deep desire to help those in need.
But beware. If he’s in a small white work truck and asks for $12, it’s most likely a hoax.
And there are others out there, using different methods, preying on the elderly and others in Marshall County.
I don’t print anonymous letters to the editor. However, I received one this week from a concerned county resident who asked me to withhold her name “for safety’s sake.”
“We experienced a burglary in late August, and got two descriptions of the men from people who saw them with our safe (in Sycamore View area) and with our debit card (Wolfchase Chili’s). The men were apparently watching our home, and broke in shortly after I left home at 11:30 a.m.”
The writer wants to remind homeowners to be careful of people coming up into their yard selling services and to report anything suspicious to law enforcement.
Those warnings have come over and over again from our police departments and our sheriff’s department.
We need to heed these warnings. We need to be smart. We need to be cautious and careful. There are a lot of con artists out there these days.
“We suspect these men have already been back in our neighborhood, trying to sell their services less than three weeks after burglarizing our home,” the Marshall County citizen wrote.
The writer is concerned about her neighbors who work and who are elderly and weak.
These type people, who have no respect for the law or the good people they are seeking to take advantage of, can come knocking on your door offering all types of services. It’s not about always being scared in your own home. It’s about being alert, asking questions and involving the authorities if need be.
It takes all of us to help fight crime. Neighbors must watch for neighbors.
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