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Sheriff’s Office issues scam notice

By Staff | Nov 28, 2008

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office would like to inform the public of a fraud scam originating out of Canada that is targeting elderly citizens in our community. The perpetrators contact the victim and identify themselves as a “grandson” or “nephew.” They explain that they are in dire straits and need money to avoid jail or to pay a fine.
The victim is then instructed to go to a store, lately Walmart, and Western Union money to them in Canada to help them get out of their particular situation. Once the money is wired, the victims then call a relative to discover their grandson or nephew is not in trouble and has never been to Canada.
In the past month or so, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Economic Crimes Unit has received multiple complaints where people have lost anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000 each because of this scam.
Investigators are asking the community to be aware of this scam. Do not send money out of the country through Western Union or any other wire transfer service company. If you are contacted by anyone making a request similar to the one described above, contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at (239) 477-1000, or visit our public Web site for additional information related to these scams under the “Economic Crimes” link.