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Date Released: 8/7/2003
Subject: Fraud Warning
Contact: Brend Gainey, PIO
Case No#: 200305189
Released By: Brenda Gainey

Location: Eureka

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is warning of a telephone scam used in Humboldt County. Yesterday a 67 year-old Eureka woman called Sheriff’s Deputies when she realized she had been a victim of fraud. She reported that she had received a telephone call from someone claiming to represent the U.S. Government. The person told the woman she had won a lottery. The person went on to tell the woman that before the money could be sent to her she would have to secure an insurance policy. She was told the insurance was necessary to insure payment to her in the event of any “problems.” The caller told the woman it is less expensive to use foreign insurance companies and the woman was encouraged to send $3,000 to a company in Panama. Using a national wire service, she had the money sent. A few days later she received another phone call and was told that there was a problem with her first wire and she’d have to send more money. This time she was to wire the money to Puerto Rico, which she did.
Over the course of about eight days she sent nearly $9,000 to foreign addresses. She reported that different people called her, each claiming to be associates of the first caller.
There are steps one can take to protect themselves from Lottery Scams. Be very cautious of the following:

1. Telephone solicitations that request or demand money.
2. Vague answers or none at all to key questions you ask
3. Pressure, threats or harassment. That includes pressure words such as “urgent” or “final deadline” or “last chance.”

And remember, if it sound too good to be true, it most likely is.




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