Lo­cal res­i­dents tar­geted by scams

Nige­ria, Hit­man scams pop­u­lar through­out U.S.

The Covington News - - LOCAL NEWS - By Tyler Smith

Cit­i­zens of New­ton County have re­cently been bom­barded with variety scam e- mails de­signed to sucker them out of their hard earned cash.

Ac­cord­ing to New­ton County Sher­iff ’s Lt. Bill Wat­ter­son, a man re­cently lost $ 70,000 af­ter fall­ing prey to a “ Nige­ria Scam.”

In the scam, peo­ple in the U. S. are e- mailed from some­one in Abid­jan, Africa, who claims they have in­her­ited $ 8.5 mil­lion, but they are hav­ing a hard time dis­tribut­ing the money. So in the e- mail, the sender sim­ply asks for as­sis­tance in re­turn­ing the money to the U. S. so it can be dis­persed to char­i­ties and churches, Wat­ter­son said.

To get the money re­leased from the Abid­jan gov­ern­ment, le­gal fees must be paid by the scam’s vic­tim.

“ They pray on the vic­tim’s morals,” Wat­ter­son said. “ This par­tic­u­lar vic­tim prob­a­bly spent all of his life’s sav­ings and fini­cal hold­ings try­ing to help peo­ple that don’t ex­ist. I al­ways tell peo­ple if it is too good to be true, then it is prob­a­bly a fake.”

The NCSO has also re­ceived re­ports of a “ Hit­man with a Heart” scam be­ing sent to New­ton res­i­dents. In this scam, a sup­posed hit­man e- mails vic­tims that he has been hired to kill them, but be­cause he is such a nice guy, he will call the hit off for a small fee.

Wat­ter­son said the scam had no va­lid­ity and had been traced back to In­dia, Gas­to­nia and Africa. Some­how the sus­pects were able to high­jack e- mails ad­dresses from AT& T and Bell­South.

If you have been a vic­tim of ei­ther th­ese or other scams, Wat­ter­son said to call the New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice at ( 678) 625- 1403. Tips may also be given anony­mously at ( 678) 625- 5007 or on their Web site www. new­ton­sh­er­if­fga. org.

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