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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Trooper Mike Delp Talks To Coudersport Rotary About Scams

Coudersport Rotary Club hosted Pennsylvania State Trooper Mike Delp at our May 21, 2018 meeting.  Trooper Delp told us that Judge Leete said he could talk about anything he wanted and he chose to speak to us about Scams.  

The first scam Trooper Delp told us about is the “Grandparent Scam”.  “People who grew up in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, are inherently more trusting,” he said.  A scammer contacts a person very early or late in the day to tell them that their grandchild has been arrested and needs bail money immediately - or for a child in the military, they may be told the child is a POW.  The scammer has the grandparent send money via Western Union and once the money has gone it can’t be retrieved.  

 The important thing to note, Trooper Delp said, is that there is always a sense of urgency and the money must be sent immediately.  Sometimes the scammer will even have a child come on the phone and act frightened.  Trooper Delp said to slow down and don’t get into panic mode.  “There is no judicial system in the world that needs an answer in the next 15 seconds.”  Call the parents of the grandchild or the grandchild themselves and never wire money that has been requested by phone or emails.  

 A second scam he told us about is the “Free Trip Scam”.  You’re notified that you’ve won a free trip and you only have to pay the taxes.  Then you find that the taxes cost more than an actual trip would have been.  “If a deal is only good for five minutes, then it probably isn’t a good deal,” Trooper Delp said.  

There’s “Nigerian Letter Fraud”.  If you send $5000 to help the needy or homeless, you’ll be repaid $250,000.  “You’ll lose your $5000,” he said.
            Another is the “England Lottery Scam”.  “If you didn’t buy a lottery ticket, you didn’t win.”    

Springtime is big for the “IRS Phone Scam”.  You’re called by someone saying they’re from the IRS and that there’s an arrest warrant out for you because you didn’t pay your taxes.  “The IRS will send you a letter,” Trooper Delp said.  Go to the IRS website and call the IRS to check before sending any money. 

Identity Theft has become very common.  Most Identity thefts are tracked back to Middle Eastern Terrorists.  They’ll use your information for a month and then dump it because you’ll stop payments once you start getting bills.  To combat identity theft, Trooper Delp told us, don’t open unrecognized emails - especially with attachments and don’t leave credit card numbers on websites.   

At the end of his presentation, Rotary member, Paul Herzig, asked about Trooper Delp’s take on recent school shootings.  Trooper Delp said he felt that just as the schools have fire drills each month, they should also have lockdown drills - so that the reaction becomes automatic.  He said it’s the school’s job to educate, so it’s difficult.  “I believe bullying is a contributing factor,” he said, “along with mental illness and the breakdown of the family.” 

Rotary member Jennifer Rossman asked Trooper Delp about the incidence of heroin use in the community.  He said the numbers in Potter County are lower this year than last.  He attributes it to education, judge’s aggressiveness, awareness of deaths, and that major players have been taken out - making heroin more difficult to obtain.   

Thank you, Trooper Mike Delp, for your interesting and informative presentation.  We appreciate you coming before Coudersport Rotary Club!

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