Back when I was a 21-year-old college student / waiter, I was scammed out of some cash by a dickhead who gave me the whole "I need $20 to buy a belt on my car" routine. Not familiar with that scam? It involves pantyhose. I'll tell you more about it in a few weeks.
Anyway, I know what it's like to be scammed. I also know what it's like to be a scammer. Out of college, I landed a job as the "staff writer" for a local multi-level marketing company (ever heard of AM300?), and had to write cheesy articles about magical diet pills and how the power of a residual income can "change your life" if you enroll in the auto ship, purchase $100 in products a month, and alienate all your friends by trying to get them to sell vitamins. Legally speaking it wasn't a scam, but it sure felt like one.
With that backstory in mind, you can see why I appreciated this report out of Lawton about a scam involving water bills. It was bold and absurd and possible even worked.
Police in Lawton have issued a warning that someone is trying to scam the city’s residents out of money.
The police department was told that someone claiming to be with the City of Lawton Water Department is cold-calling residents there.
The caller is telling residents that their water will be turned off unless the resident pays a certain amount of money to keep it on.
The resident is then instructed to rush to a local Walmart and buy a Green Dot Card, or pre-paid Visa card, with the amount specified.
Once the card has been purchased, an exchange is made.
Lawton Police don’t want anyone to fall for this scam, saying that the water department won’t contact you by phone and request payment this way.
Lawton residents will always be contacted by written letter.
It must be kind of fun to be a scammer in Lawton. Even if your scam is stupid and people don't fall for it, the police and media will give it plenty of attention, so you can be proud of your work.
Seriously, that's ridiculous. On the Scam Scale, something I just invented, I'd give it a 2. Who outside of the KFOR Social Media Bandit would fall for that? I can see someone giving a guy $20 because he lost his wallet and needs to buy a belt for his Mercedes so he can drive to Elk City and pick up his wife (Scam Scale: 7), but thinking someone will go to Walmart and buy a Visa Gift Card for the water company is in a whole other level of stupidity. I know there are some dumb people out there, but if you fall for something like this you kind of deserve to be scammed and / or live in Lawton.
Okay, that was kind of mean. Nobody deserves to be scammed or live in Lawton. It was a bad joke and I apologize.
P.S. - I had no clue what photograph to use with this story. Since the KFOR Social Media Bandit went with a bearded guy talking into a phone, I did the same. As we know, never trust a man with a beard.