The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about scam solicitations that promise monetary awards or rewards. Some of the latest versions of the mail fraud schemes ask the recipient to cash the included check and then ask the recipient to return a portion to the sender.
In some cases, scammers will send a realistic check or money order for a purchase they make from you — buying something you’re selling — and then ask you to return the overage amount. The check or money order then bounces and you’re out all the cash.
Some of the recent scams send a check or money order as an “advance on millions that you’re going to receive from sweepstakes, lottery, or inheritance.”
Here are some tips to follow to protect you from scams:
1. Anytime someone asks for what is known as “front” money or money given before services are rendered, this should be a red flag.
2. Do not send money if a caller requires you to send money “right now!” and says you must wire money before you can claim your prize.
3. Don’t wire money to someone you do not know.
4. Don’t send money to someone who tells you what to say to wire the transfer agent — or says you should hide information or lie to the agent.
“Citizens should be vigilant when receiving unexpected mailings or other forms of solicitations that inform them that they are recipients of a sum of money,“ said Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie.
Anyone who receives suspicious mailings or offers should contact their local law enforcement agency.