The Anson County Sheriff’s Office continues to warn citizens of fraud and flim-flam scams that are reported regularly to the Sheriff’s Office. Generally, these are some form of mail, fax, telephone, email or Internet scams, notifying individuals they have won money from some contest, lottery or third world individual who is asking for help getting money back into the United States.
Anson County Sheriff Tommy Allen said that the old rule still applies: “If it sounds too good to be true, it almost always is.”
“I have a stack of Award Notifications, Lottery Payment Processing Forms, Claim Center Notifications, USA Survey Network (and the list goes on and on), who have contacted local citizens on their ‘winnings’ and ask the individuals to send them a ‘processing fee, finders fee, or tax fee’ for helping them with some contest that they’ve never entered,” Sheriff Allen said. “These letters will often be postmarked Canada or some third world country or even an island resort. Do NOT call any phone numbers listed on these letters. Sometimes that is the only thing they are trying to get you to do. You may be billed hundreds of dollars for that one ‘international’ call.”
The sheriff said there are three things to always remember: 1) You will never win any lottery, contest or drawing that you have NEVER entered; 2) NO legitimate contest will ever ask you to send money back to them under any circumstances. 3) No legitimate person is going to contact you and promise to pay your bills and ask you to send them money in the process.
The Sheriff’s Office has recently had several instances of the latter. Individuals develop a relationship correspondence with someone on Facebook or some similar social network. They ask the victim to send them money in return they promise to send a large amount of money soon. Or they send them a large check that they ask them to deposit and return a portion back to them. Of course the check will bounce a few days later but it’s too late because the victim has already sent the money by “wire” to the individual. One person recently lost $10,000 to this scam; another, $1,400.
“Anything remotely similar to what I’ve just described is 100 percent fraud and flim-flam,” Sheriff Allen said. “Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it is! Take time to check it out. Any legitimate business will welcome that and the crooks will not wait around.”