The increase in the number of calls made to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in 2011 is beginning to show that callers are anxious to report frauds and scams; as well as eager to seek advice to avoid becoming a victim, and receive assistance from local law enforcement for themselves and their loved ones.
The fraud line received nearly 3,000 calls from citizens reporting incidents such as the sweepstakes/lottery scam, grandparent scam, mystery shopper scam, fake check scam, a multitude of on-line scams and many more. Members of the Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit spoke to thousands of Lee County residents educating them about the dangers of these scams, and the clever schemes con artists use to defraud millions of dollars from innocent victims all around the country. In addition, many one-on-one home visits took place with local seniors and their family members in an attempt to protect the assets and identity of the elderly victim.
Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott reminds year round and seasonal residents to be aware that frauds and scams come through the mail, telephone, door to door sales and the internet. “Both young and old alike are susceptible to swindlers who know no borders, boundaries or jurisdictions. They have one objective and that is to separate you from your money!” says Sheriff Scott.
The Sheriff’s Office fraud line is designated specifically for residents and business owners who want to report a scam, fraud or identity theft, whether they have been a victim or not; and serves as a vehicle to receive, develop and refer complaints to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
If you have questions about this or if you have received a call and would like to report it, please contact the Fraud Hotline at 239-477-1242.