Computer Crime Research Center


Woman reports losing thousands in Internet scam

Date: July 15, 2008

LAKEPORT – Lakeport Police are asking area residents to be on their guard in the wake of a woman reporting that she lost thousands of dollars in an Internet fraud case.

Lt. Brad Rasmussen reported that Lakeport Police received a report on July 10 from a local woman who said she'd lost $8,300 after receiving an e-mail that offered her an in-home business opportunity.

According to Rasmussen, the suspects offered to send the victim checks with a request that she cash them and keep 10 percent of the funds for her service.

The woman cashed $8,300 in checks through her bank and forwarded the suspects $7,470 before discovering the checks were fraudulent, Rasmussen said.

Since the woman originally reported the crime, Rasmussen said the fraud suspects have attempted to obtain another $18,600 from her.

“This could be a very large scam,” Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen said the Lakeport Police Department has identified four possible suspects in the case from South Carolina and is currently working with an agency from that state in an effort to develop additional evidence.

“The IDs appear good at this time because some of the suspect names are well known to the agency in South Carolina where the checks came from,” Rasmussen said.

It's a fortunate development in the case. “Usually we are not able to get a good lead on a case like this, but with the possible suspect IDs we might be able to make a case here or turn it over to another agency,” said Rasmussen.

Rasmussen said in many such cases of Internet fraud, the suspects cannot be identified or are operating from outside the country, making it difficult for law enforcement to investigate.

He said police are asking citizens to be aware of Internet and telephone frauds scams and not accept or cash checks from unknown persons or give out personal information over the telephone.

“On cases like this we like to get the information out to the public to hopefully prevent others from becoming victims of these scams,” he said.

If you live in Lakeport and believe you've been a victim of a similar scam, call Lakeport Police at 263-5491.

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