Sheriff's department warns against sweepstakes fraud
The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office is investigating an incident of fraud and is warning local residents about the scammers, according to Sheriff Mark Hebert.
In this incident, the victim received a check for several thousand dollars along with paperwork suggesting the victim had won a sweepstakes lottery. The check was later discovered to be a fake.
Legitimate lotteries, contests or sweepstakes do not require personal banking information or money from the winner in order to claim winning prizes.
These scam artists claim that you must first deposit a check, often sent by the scammer, then mail or wire money back to them in order to collect a monetary benefit. If an unsuspecting customer withdraws money before the check clears it then becomes the customer’s responsibility for any deficiency if the check is fraudulent.
If you suspect a scammer has targeted you, contact your local law enforcement agency.
The SMPSO can be reached at 384-1622 or 337-828-1960.
In addition to alerting local authorities, scams may also be reported online at www.ic3.gov.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, funded in part by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The site also provides information and tips for the public on how scams work and how to avoid them.