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Several scams active in the Panhandle area

The Clarendon Enterprise of Clarendon, Texas

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bob's whittlin'

Hi, gang! There are several scams running in the Panhandle area. One is that you receive a call from the IRS and are told that you owe a large amount of back taxes. You are instructed to send a check, money order, debit card to a certain address. If you receive this call report it to the IRS. Also remember the Donley County Sheriff's Office is not going to call asking you for money.

Below is information received from Amarillo Police Department about recovering a $46,000 dollar check. We have warned about the lottery scam before however this is a very good reminder.

On Monday, January 5, at approximately 1:00 p.m., APD Detectives received information regarding a scam. A family member from New York called saying that her mother in Florida had sent a $46,000 check to an individual in Amarillo thinking they had won a sweepstakes. The check was supposedly sent to cover the taxes on the sweepstakes winnings.

Detectives had obtained a name and address of the person in Amarillo and went to the residence in an attempt to intercept the check before it was cashed. Upon arriving at the residence, detectives located the individual the check was mailed to. They were allowed inside the residence and while speaking to the individual it was determined that this person was also a victim of a scam, in which he reportedly won a lottery. He was advised that with his winnings, he would start receiving checks from individuals throughout the country and he was supposed to cash the checks and keep a small portion of the check and forwards the remaining balance of the money on to another individual. The gentleman in Amarillo had reportedly lost about $10,000 of his money that he has sent to cover taxes in his lottery winnings. He did admit to officers that he had received a few checks in the past and did as he was instructed. He also told officers that he did have a $46,000 check from a person in Florida and that he was supposed to cash it and forward it to another individual.

Detectives did recover the

$46,000 check before it was cashed. After explaining the criminal nature of the transactions to the gentleman, he agreed he would no longer accept, cash or forward any other checks. On the following day this same man came to the PD to turn in $5,700 in cash that he received from another individual. The woman in Florida is extremely fortunate that detectives were able to intercept her check before it was cashed; sadly many others are not as lucky. Scams like these are running rampant though out the country. NO ONE should ever pay money in advance for "winning" some prize.

These scams are extremely difficult to solve. With existing technologies, thieves can program their phone to show a different name and phone number, it could be local number or even a government agency. Just because the caller ID says IRS, or your local bank, do not blindly believe it.

Ask the person on the phone for their name, employer and a phone number to them call back. Then hang up and locate the phone number for the business or government agency in the phone book and call that number to see if that individual actually works for them.

Also don't be afraid to ask friends or family members what they think before sending money. Sometimes having someone else's thoughts can prevent additional scam victims. Also please remember to check with "older" friends and neighbors to make sure they are not victims.

Be safe out there!

Copyright 2015 The Clarendon Enterprise, Clarendon, Texas. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: January 15, 2015

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