That's the message local authorities are sending to residents concerning recent Internet scams that have victimized 15 to 20 people.
Thomson Police Department Investigator Lt. Scott Whittle said Monday that at least one of those people is no longer regarded as a victim, but rather an offender.
"These individuals think they are going to get rich quick," Lt. Whittle said. "But it's not going to happen. People need to learn that they're not going to get anything for nothing."
The veteran lawman pointed out that one of the latest Internet scams involves bogus companies contacting individuals by e-mail and explaining to them how they can make money right from the comfort of their homes.
"Some of those bogus companies are telling individuals they can immediately make 10 percent cash profit, if they open up a bank account for a certain amount," Lt. Whittle said. "After opening the account, the individual is required to wire the majority of the money to the bogus company."
Last week in Thomson, two different scams involved amounts of money from $2,450 to $4,500, he noted.
"Individuals are receiving $200 cash at the time, while these bogus companies are getting wired to them $1,800 and more in many cases at the time of the transaction," he said.
The best advice he can offer is for individuals to stay away from junk e-mail they receive on the Internet.
Lt. Whittle said people should disregard any kind of e-mail they are not absolutely sure about.
"There's no telling how many people have been taken by these scams," Lt. Whittle said during a Monday news conference. "It's sad that bogus companies want to prey on people who are unemployed or so gullible to think this scam thing is legit. These bogus companies are the ones getting rich out of scams like the ones we're seen in the last few weeks."
He added, "This is a nationwide thing, earning money from home. It's nothing but a racket."