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Some tips for avoiding common Wadena County scams

Everyone knows there is no such thing as free money. Scams are becoming more and more popular around the world.

Scams can be in the form of a telephone call, e-mail or a letter in the mail. The scam that has been popular around Wadena County lately is in the form of U.S. Mail. Wadena County residents have been receiving letters in the mail along with a check. The letters have came from a variety of places. This scam is based solely on conning the victim into cashing a counterfeit check. The scammer sends the victim a check, the victim cashes the check then sends the cash back to the scammer via wire transfer (as the scammer requests.) Later, it is discovered that the check is a forgery and the bank transaction is reversed, leaving the victim responsible for paying the money back to the bank. The "lottery" scams works the same way as this scam.

Other types of scams that has been popular involves a "long-lost relative" that most people aren't aware even existed; that's probably because they don't exist. Scammers will claim that the victim had a relative that had recently passed away and left a large sum of money to the victim. The scammers will claim that the victim has to pay a sum of money to them in order for the money to be released. Most often once you send the money- they will keep tacking on additional fees. Needless to say you never receive your money and you are out whatever money you had originally sent.

Here are some things to remember to protect you and your family from scams:

• You cannot win a legitimate lottery if you have not entered it.

• In a legitimate lottery, you never have to pay before you receive the money. Lotteries request you to pay taxes after you receive the money.

• If you win a lottery, they notify you; you do not notify them.

• Never give out any personal information to anyone without knowing who you are giving it to.

• Beware of anything coming from outside the United States. (Nigeria and Canada are a hot spot for scams.)

Think twice about opportunities that seem too good to be true, as they usually are.

Unfortunately, once you send the money to the scammer, it is gone. If for any reason you are thinking anything is a scam, please feel free to call the Sheriff's Office at (218) 631-7600.

Amy L. Ament


Wadena County Sheriff's Office