POSTED: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 11:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 9:32pm
POINTE COUPEE PARISH, LA (NBC33) — If you’ve received an email claiming that you’ve been selected to win a $1,000 gift certificate as a sign of appreciation from the Pointe Coupee school system, report it immediately to the Sheriff’s Office; it’s a scam.
NBC33 News was contacted by the Pointe Coupee Parish school board after they learned about the scam early this morning, Tuesday, July 24.
“We want everyone to know that we are not issuing gift cards,” Linda D’Amico, Superintendent of Schools in Pointe Coupee Parish, explained. “It’s not real and we don’t want anyone hurt by this.”
D’Amico tells us that a nurse who works within the school system received the email last night and she brought it to the attention of her supervisor this morning. The email claims that she is the recipient of a $1,000 gift card provided by the school system.
“It goes on to explain how to collect the gift card,” D’Amicao continued. “It includes their name, even a middle name, and the issuing branch. It gives you instructions on how to collect your prize and have it shipped to the address of your choosing.”
Although the email seems legitimate, it’s a complete fake and filling out the information could be potentially problematic.
“The objective of this scam is to obtain your identity,” Sheriff Bud Torez, Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff’s Office, said. “Once they have your identity, it will then be sold and that’s how these thieves operate.”
Sheriff Torez noted that these scams are often difficult to end because they’re often perpetrated out of the country.
“We collect the information and provide it to the FBI,” he said. “Their challenge is that these criminals are in foreign countries. We have no legal recourse because they’re outside of the jurisdiction of our government.”
Email scams such as this one are not new. However, it is becoming more common for the con artists to utilize local businesses to try and garner attention from potential victims.
“A few months back they were doing this same scam but claimed to be from Wal-Mart,” Sheriff Torez, noted. “If you get something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The best thing you can do is to ignore the email.”
If you received a similar email, do not click any links or provide any information. You should contact the Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s Office immediately at (225) 638-5400.