KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Scams are a dime a dozen, so you'd think we'd become immune to falling for them.
But local police say the scammers are just getting smarter and trying to stay a step ahead, and so we need to be more vigilant.
"People are becoming much sharper, and I'm becoming much older, and so, there`s a diminishing capability on my part, and an increasing capability on the part of those who will do ill," says 74 year old Chet Hanson, who received a notice during tax season.
"It said you have $20,000 due and it`s due in 11 days," Hanson adds, "We hadn't filed our taxes yet, and we had overpaid, so we we`re surprised to get that."
It can get confusing, so he called their accountant, and he still doesn't know what will come of it.
"Everything is up in the air, and I know that we are not going through this alone, I know there are thousands and thousands of people," Hanson says.
Hanson is right, and on Thursday the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department held a meeting to address scams and fraud issues. Police discussed the 12 most common scams they regularly see. They say the scams and scammers are constantly changing their tactics, but they say the common premise usually stays the same.
"They don`t stay necessarily in Kansas City," says Sgt. Rickett, "Many times our suspect is on the coasts, or overseas, well out of the Kansas City area, which leads to a huge jurisdiction issue, which leads us to have to fight the laws of not only our state, but other states, and of course other countries."
Sgt. Rickett says scams affect everyone.
"If it sounds too good to be true, it really might be," adds Sgt. Rickett.
The 12 he sees most often deal with banking, grandparents/family , immigration, job opportunities, legal based, on-line computer repair, on-line, over-payment, real estate, sweepstakes, taxes and utility services.
Hanson says he was told it could take months to get answers—if ever—and the uncertainty is unsettling.
"This scam, I'm from California, and I'm used to earth quakes, and you feel very unsure about what you`re standing on in an earthquake, and we kind of feel that way right now," says Hanson.
Sgt. Rickett says it`s okay to question something that doesn't seem right -talk to a professional or someone you trust before you commit. If it's legitimate, the person or business will not have a problem with you getting back to them.
For more tips on how to protect yourself, click here.