Sheriff warns of potential telemarketing fraud scheme

According to Marion County Sheriff Lee Becker, some Marion County residents have received fraudulent telemarketing calls that could have cost them a significant amount of money.

“No one in the county has lost money at this time,” Becker said. “But we want people to be aware of what is going on.”

He said telemarketers had contacted some county residents, saying they had won a foreign lottery.

The victims were told they needed to pay a “processing fee” of $1,500 or more to process the lottery of $2 million and they would begin receiving $250,000 per year.

But the victims in other areas who have paid the processing fee have not received the winning prize money.

Becker encourages anyone who receives this type of call to contact his office. Any contact numbers or correspondence with telemarketers or lottery entities would be helpful.

He also cautions residents to safeguard personal information.

“If you have any questions or are suspicious, call us and we will find out what we can,” Becker said. “Or, if you feel that it really is a valid contest and you might have won, have them take the processing fee out of your first monthly payment.”

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