NEWS RELEASE                                             

For Immediate Release
February 10, 2006
Contact: Michele Nicholson
Public Information Officer
  (850) 651-7420

PROTECT YOUR HARD-EARNED MONEY

      The Okaloosa Sheriff ís Office is advising the public to be alert to a proliferation of postal and e-mail scams in our area. Even law enforcement officers have been targeted. Red flags include unsolicited notices by postal mail or e-mail that state you have cash coming your way. The scam artists now typically provide a very authentic looking check or money order, but you must exchange some of your own money to get a greater amount sent back to you. 

    Many trusting people are finding out the hard way that the check or money that they deposit before sending out their own personal check are counterfeit or represent empty accounts. Their hard-earned cash is usually gone for good.

   Sheriff Charlie Morris says the con artists, who use a variety of methods, are becoming much more sophisticated in their schemes. The scams often originate in various countries all across the globe and are very difficult for investigators to trace.  That makes PREVENTION the key!

    The F-B-Iís web site allows victims of e-mail scams to file electronic reports.  Just go to www.FBI.gov.

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