Beware, scammers trying to swindle people out of books

"Send us a single book, and you'll get 36 back soon!" reads an alluring post on social media. Contrary to what one might expect, this isn't a ploy to promote reading via book giveaways. In all likelihood, it's a financial pyramid, a nefarious plot hatched to relieve literary hopefuls of their coveted home libraries. 

Police are warning not to fall prey to offers too good to be true and to consider carefully every one of them, lest you end up being a victim, reported LSM's Russian-language service Tuesday. 

"First of all, the offer itself should alarm anyone with an elementary command of logic and mathematics!," said Toms Sadovskis, spokesman for the State Police.

"Secondly, of course someone might say that the sum is very little — you spend money for a single book, and even if you risk in not receiving anything in return, it's nothing much. But would you really come to a store without any merchandise on the shelves and would pay for something in the vain hope that someone would send products to you? Of course not," he said.

He stressed that the State Police calls Latvians to scrupulously examine any deals made on the internet. 

Sadovskis admitted, though, that it isn't easy to punish the organizers of such schemes.

"Of course we're informed about the case, the Criminal Police is informed and is monitoring it. The police are calling everyone who has, possibly, already suffered from the activities of these persons to report [the crime] and not let it slide," he said.

"However, during the preparation phase of such a crime the law doesn't allow to punish the authors behind such offers. But when the crime has become fact, then yes [..]," said Sadovskis.

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