"Love is a Powerful Thing": A Message from the MPD

By MPD Sergeant Mo Hawkinson
September 09, 2016

Recently, McPherson KS Police Department has taken several reports of scams involving a plea for money on behalf of a relative. We appreciate this info from the Federal Trade Commission...

"Love is a powerful thing. So when a loved one calls or emails, saying they’re in trouble, you want to help, right? Should you follow your heart if they ask you to send cash immediately? The short answer is: NO! Unfortunately, scammers pretend to be someone you know to trick you into sending money. They might pressure you to wire money quickly to help with an emergency — to get out of jail, pay a hospital bill, or leave a foreign country.

In the rush to help, you might not stop to think: does this make sense? Even if the story sounds legitimate, take a moment, and run through these steps:

•Stop. Don’t act immediately, no matter what they say the crisis is.

•Check with the person the caller says is in trouble. Use a number or email address you know is right. Check out the story. Check with someone who might know his or her situation, if you don’t reach the person immediately. It’s a sign of a scam, if the caller says not to tell any other family members or friends.

•Don’t wire money to anyone who asks you. Wiring money is like sending cash — once you send it, it’s gone. The same goes for prepaid debit cards. Nobody ever needs payment in prepaid debit cards.

If you think you’ve responded to a scam,report it immediately to the FTC,or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.