Sheriff's Office warns about lottery scam letters - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Sheriff's Office warns about lottery scam letters

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

November 26, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -   South Georgia law enforcement says the holidays usually brings an increase in scams and con jobs.

But Investigators say they are alarmed this year, because they are already seeing dozens of reports of scams.   And they worry that traditional increase and the bad economy could mean a big increase in victims.

Dougherty County Sheriff's Investigators lay out just a few of the lottery scams that victims have brought in.

Captain Craig Dodd said "We've got 30 something in the last week or so."

The letters claim to be from solid sounding companies like Premier Securities, Southern Maine Management, or Vacon Incorporated.  But Investigators say these letters are scams from organized criminals in foreign countries.

 Dodd said "Generally speaking during the holiday season we get a very large increase in them."

The letters say you have won hundreds of thousands of dollars in a lottery, and include a legitimate looking check for around four thousand dollars. The letter says deposit the check, and money gram them several thousand dollars to pay fees or taxes, and then you'll be rich.

 Dodd said "As soon as you take that money out and send it, you have just lost your money because this is a counterfeit check."

Investigators worry that the bad economy will make more people fall for this scam.

Dodd said "With tough economic times and it being right before Christmas, and people being worried about having enough money to buy Christmas and that type of thing, it is a worry."

Investigators say if you get come on's like these in the mail or on the Internet, shred them or delete them.   Just don't fall for what they say is an increasingly deceptive scam.

Dodd said the elderly are often targeted for these scams, and are more vulnerable to fall for them. He says children should talk with their parents and senior citizens about the problem, to protect them.

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