LATROBE, Pa. — State police are putting out a warning and sharing new tips to protect yourself after new scams are targeting local festivals and events.
The Westmoreland County Arts and Heritage Festival is the latest event hoping potential vendors don’t fall victim to a new scam. The group is warning about a scam involving the upcoming mini-festival in October, saying someone may be trying to dupe vendors by soliciting booth space and asking for money through text message. The person is not associated with the group.
If you have been contacted by the person, or sent money, you are asked to contact the state police at 724-832-3288, as they are currently investigating. If you are interested in booth space at the mini-festival, contact the festival office directly at 724-834-7474. The festival says it will never ask for payment information by texting.
The mini-festival is set to run Oct. 2 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Twin Lakes Park in Latrobe.
For state police it seems to be another day, another new scam.
“It’s gotten to the point in law enforcement where I’m disgusted when I see the amount of people that are preyed on, when it comes to a nonprofit, senior citizens, children, it’s gotten to the point where these scammers will exploit any person they can to try to make money,” Pennsylvania State Police Greensburg Trooper Steve Limani said.
Police have their own advice to avoid falling victim from any of the scams now fishing for your attention.
“If it seems too good to be true, most likely it is. Be careful if you’re asked to send money electronically, make sure you know where that money is going to and contact the organizer of whatever it is,” Limani said. “What happens with the scammers, they set up a sense of urgency, so you have to try to do this right away. They’re going to set up electronically, sending money electronically and they’re also going to want to make you feel like there’s a limited capacity to do this.”
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