NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Each year millions of people fall victim to scams and it seems no one is safe. Scams can cost victims thousands of dollars and even their identify. That's why in 2012 the Tennessee Consumer Affairs Department will debut some new plans to keep you and your family safe.
Each year Gary Cordell, Executive Director of Consumer Affairs for Tennessee hears the stories of deception, stories of yet another person falling victim to a scam and having hundreds-- even thousands of dollars stolen.
"These scams have been around for a long time and folks are still taking advantage of it," said Cordell.
Cordell said crooks are smart and the scams are always changing. One of the most recent scams Cordell heard involved several guests at a hotel who got a call saying the front desk computer had gone down and they hotel needed their credit card information.
They guest in this case gave their information and it wasn't until the next morning as they were checking out that they realized what happened.
"Someone had called them from an outside source and the front desk was not aware of that. They hadn't had a computer crash and someone's ID was stolen," said Cordell.
This year to help get the word out the Consumer Department is putting out a calendar with scams typically seen during each month, like in January the most popular scams relate to weight loss. Many people send money for diet pills that either never show up or are nothing more than sugar pills.
"Most of the time if you ever wire money overseas for an offer that later becomes a scam, you'll find your chances are getting that money back are zero," said Cordell.
The new campaign is called Don't Get Scammed in 2012.
The department is hoping the tips inside the calendar and the reminder each month will keep people from falling victim to crooks looking to make an easy buck.