Please use common sense – if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is!
Dodge County citizens are being targeted and falling victim to old scams with new twists.
One scam is a lottery or prize winning notification stating that you are the winner but need to send money to cover taxes and fees. Sometimes the schemers send a check along with the notification letter to “help” you pay the fees. They instruct you to cash or deposit the check and use Money Gram or Western Union to wire the money. Several days later, your bank will notify you that the check was no good and you are out the money.
Another scam is postings of items for sale at prices drastically below the actual value. One Dodge County resident found a horse trailer for sale online, allegedly in the Ripon area. It was valued at over $40,000.00 but offered for $5,200.00. The trailer was actually for sale and the scammer cut and pasted the actual photos to his own website. The woman wired the money to the scammer only to find out he did not own the trailer.
When money is wired to Money Gram or Western Union destinations it can be retrieved at any office at any location. Thieves use false identity to pick up the money or, sometimes, the person who picks up the money is also an unwitting victim who receives a small cut of the funds and then sends the rest of the money on to another location.
Many of these scams are routed through Canada and England and then on to Africa. It is not possible for U.S. authorities, let alone, local police agencies to investigate, solve and recover the victim’s money.
The only way to stop these types of crimes is to prevent people from falling for these scams. Please be smart and don’t become a victim. Educate your friends and family. You are the first line of defense!