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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Phone, e-mail scams target local residents

Monday, February 4, 2008

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Those were the words from Putnam County Sheriff Mark Frisbie Monday when he reported that there have been a number of scams targeting local residents in the last two weeks.

He told the Banner Graphic Monday that two Putnam County residents were targeted by different scams over the telephone, both of them seeking personal banking information.

The first one, he said, involves a suspect who called a local person and said he was an attorney trying to settle someone's $22 million estate. All they had to do to retrieve their share of the estate was give up their bank account number and the money would be sent their way.

Frisbie said the victim was smart enough not to give the number and contacted Putnam County Sheriff's Detective Mike Biggs.

Biggs is also investigating a second telephone scam. This one involves a suspect calling the victim saying he was working for a private security company and that the victim's credit card had been compromised. The suspect told the victim that in order to get the credit card stopped and a new one issued, they had to give their credit card number and the expiration date of the card.

"These types of scams come in bursts and as soon as we see them, we want to get the word out," Frisbie said.

These are not the only scams to target local residents recently.

The sheriff said a member of his staff recently received an e-mail telling him that someone had died and left him an heir to their estate. The suspect, according to the sheriff, targeted the Greencastle High School Alumni registry to gain names of people who had died.

"This is no fault of the alumni association," Frisbie urged.

He said it's possible for criminals to target any list that is available on the Internet and use it to seek out victims.

The staff member who received the bogus e-mail reported it to the sheriff's department and they are investigating.

Frisbie reminded the public that if they receive an e-mail or a phone call from someone saying they are an heir to an estate and that they must send their bank number, or any other personal information, in order to process the inheritance, they should report it to the sheriff's department.

Another scam the sheriff reported Monday involves a suspect who contacted a local person via e-mail, saying that he was a dying businessman who had cancer.

He told the victim he had amassed a large fortune and was looking for people to give his money to in order to keep the government from having it after his death.

"If it seems too good to be true, it is," Frisbie said. "Anyone who receives one of these things should report it to us immediately. Don't respond to it."

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