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Area DA issues scam warning

District Attorney Buddy McDonald, of the 15th Circuit CourtDistrict, issued a warning this week that his office has receivedan escalated number of calls from citizens who believe they havefallen victim to fraud or scams.

More than $500,000 has been lost in the 15th Circuit CourtDistrict, McDonald said in a press release. He did not specify thetime period of the loss.

The DA warned citizens to be cautious when approached withissues involving money.

“If you fall for one of these scams, you will not be able to getyour money back,” he said. “They generally cannot be tracked down.Therefore, the only protection you have is not getting involved tobegin with.”

A majority of con artists work from overseas, he said, and thereis little his office or federal authorities can do.

The best method of prevention, according to McDonald, is tofollow a few protective rules and recognize some of the more commonscams:

* Do not answer any “business” e-mail sent that you did notoriginate;

* Do not give personal information over the Internet ortelephone unless you made the initial contact;

* Do not send anyone money who contacted you by telephone orInternet, fax or mail with a story that they need help to get moneyout of a foreign country, you won a lottery or sweepstakes, youhave money they discovered, or they saw you had a vehicle for saleand they want to buy it and have it shipped overseas.