Fitzgerald man outsmarts scammer - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Fitzgerald man outsmarts scammer

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) –Con artists are after your hard-earned money. Even though we often warn you, people fall for scams every day. A Fitzgerald man didn't fall for a phone scam. He wants to warn you so don't become a victim.

A few days ago, Alvin Dorn got a strange phone call "The guy asked me if I interested in winning $300,000 dollars, I said yeah of course," he said.

The caller told Dorn he was about to get a delivery from Fed Ex, a whole lot of money. "He said its all through Wal-mart and you've been selected to win $300,000 dollars," he said.

But before he got any money he had to send $314.00. "When he asked for the money I knew something was up," said Dorn.

The area code was unrecognizable, and the man was difficult to understand but he told Dorn he was calling from Cordele. "I went to my local phone book and checked the area code and it said Jamaica," said Dorn.

As tempting as the money was, Dorn knew it was a scam. "When they asked for money I knew that was wrong," he said.

And according to Sheriff Bobby McLemore, he's right. "If you are getting something for nothing, and you have to pay you haven't won anything," he said.

Every week nearly a dozen people come in to the Sheriff's office with letters or concerns about scams. "Most of these come out of Nigeria and there are no international laws that cover this. We are not going to Nigeria to arrest anybody so just don't do it," he said.

They appear in all forms, emails, phone calls, letters, and even checks. Mclemore gets them in the mail too. "I throw them in the trash can, because I know if I hadn't played the lottery, I haven't won the lottery," he said.

He says it can cost you a lot of money you don't have, and cashing a counterfeit check can get you in big trouble. "If you don't pay it back to the bank you are going to get a warrant for forgery in the first degree and that's a felony," he said.

He says if you win some legitimately you don't have to pay for it.

Sheriff McLemore says many scammers are using Facebook to get personal information about potential victims. The more the scammer knows about you, the more realistic a phone call or email may seem..so he encourages you to limit the pictures and personal information you post on social networking sites.

Sheriff McLemore says if you have questions about a possible scam you're welcome to call him or stop by his office.

He says if you become a victim, you definitely need to report it to your local law enforcement agency.

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