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Letcher residents targets of telephone scam artists

If it seems too good to be true, it could be a scam.

“If you get a check from a lottery or anything that you have to send money back, it is a scam,” said Letcher County Sheriff Danny Webb.

On average, two people a week have reported various telephone scams to the sheriff ’s department for the past month, said Letcher County Sheriff ’s Deputy Eugene Slone.

In one incident, a woman was told that she had been selected as a lucky shopper. She would receive a check for $2,500, of which she was to send $2,100 back and keep $400 to shop.

Slone said several people have reported a scam where people are receiving a telephone call from someone claiming to be Jack Conway or Julian Moses of the Harbor Law Firm. The caller demands money to pay off a debt to American Cash. The caller threatens scam victims by telling them that if they don’t pay a certain amount of money, they will go to jail and will be banned from working in Kentucky for seven years.

A Mayking woman purchased a prepaid debit card from Walmart, called the scam artist and read the personal identification number on the card to the scam artist. Once she had given $489, the person asked for $700 for court costs. The woman thought it was suspicious and contacted the sheriff ’s department. She lost her income tax refund money to this scare tactic scam.

“I just wish they would call us before they send the money,” said Webb.

Some complaints reported to the sheriff ’s department have been made before money transactions were made.

Slone said to use caution if you receive a phone call from a 785 area code. One call was made from (785) 260-6212.

In a third scam, a caller tells the person who answers the phone that they have been randomly selected for a government grant that they can use for anything they choose. The amount of the grant is usually close to $10,000. The person is required to pay a processing fee of $300 to get the grant money.

The caller says it is a time sensitive offer and the person has one hour to purchase a prepaid debit card and call back with the pin number.

“It’s the easiest way to be a crook right now is to scam people out of hard-earned money,” said Webb.

Don’t give out personal information to people you don’t now, Slone said, and if you are unsure, contact the sheriff ’s department at 633-2293 or the Better Business Bureau.

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