The Franklin County Sheriff's office said they have received a number of complaints about different scams hitting the area. Here are a few they said to be aware of...
• Criminal Fine/Child Porn on Your Computer
The scammer will call, saying they are with local law enforcement or the FBI. They will tell you that you have a criminal fine you need to pay, or else they will accuse you of having child pornography on your computer. To stay out of jail, you must pay the fine through a money transfer service.
• Advance Fee/Prepayment Scam, a.k.a. "419 Scams"
In this case, the fraudster poses as a representative from a phony loan company. They use documents, emails and websites that look legit, but aren't. They charge fees in advance of making loans. You pay the fee, but the loan never goes through. The scammer has since disappeared, and they will often change the name of their "business" to avoid getting caught.
• Mystery Shopping
A scammer will send you a check and tell you to use the money to "evaluate" Western Union's money transfer service. You then wire the money, only to discover the check bounced and now you are responsible for paying the bank back.
Here, the fraudster plays the role of a buyer, zeroing in on someone selling a service or product. The "buyer" will send the seller an authentic-looking check, typically drawn on a well-known bank, for an amount higher than the agreed-upon price. The "buyer" gives an explanation for the overpayment and tells the seller to desposit the check anyway, but wire back the extra money. Weeks later, the victim finds out the check was fake, but still has to pay back the bank for all the money that was withdrawn.
If you have been the victim of one of these scams, contact the Franklin County Sheriff's office at (502) 875-8740.