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 January 31st, 2008  
St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara warns of telephone scams
Don’t be caught unaware, St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara warns, and don’t fall victim to telephone scammers trying to steal your money.

“I have asked the public many times not to give personal or financial account information to strangers over the telephone,” Sheriff Mascara said, “especially if it’s someone claiming to raise money for the Sheriff’s Office or law enforcement in general.”

The Sheriff said scammers try to take advantage of people’s goodwill toward law enforcement, but the Sheriff’s Office never solicits money by telephone. “If anyone calls you and asks for money for the Sheriff’s Office, hang up. It’s a scam.”

The latest example of such a scam took place today when a Treasure Coast resident received a phone call asking for money to support “the Sheriff’s Office,” Sheriff Mascara said. “The woman obtained a telephone number from the caller, and when she tried to call the number back, it had been disconnected.

“Fortunately, this woman didn’t lose any money, but phone scammers can sound extremely convincing,” Sheriff Mascara said.

He also warned the public about telephone calls or e-mail messages offering to split a large sum of money from the government of Nigeria. “The Nigerian scam takes advantage of people’s desire to get something for nothing. Unfortunately, people get fooled by callers or e-mailers who say that in return for a contribution or your bank account number or your credit card number, they’ll split a large sum of money with you. They won’t. Delete the e-mail messages and hang up on the telephone callers. That way, you can hang onto your money.”

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