County woman reports mailed check scam

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 26, 2010

A Warren County woman is warning area residents of a check scam after almost becoming a victim of it herself.

The victim said she received a check for $3,880.80 on Tuesday, alledgedly from Reader’s Digest, claiming she had been a sweepstakes winner of $130,000, and after looking it over, she realized the check was a scam.

She said she called the number on the letter, which came in an envelope addressed in her name and address and marked with a Canadian postage, and spoke to a man who identified himself as Wesley Mitchell.

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“I called them and he told us to put the money in our account,” she said. She said Mitchell told her, after she deposited the check, to wire him $2,885 through Western Union as an insurance fee for the $130,000 she was due to receive.

The victim said she did not cash the check and she did not contact law enforcement authorities.

“Everybody needs to be aware of this,” she said.

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said his office receives reports of scams often. “We get scam reports all the time,” he said. “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”

He said what the victim had described is “typical” of a check scam.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is the agency that handles mail fraud. A call to the Memphis office serving central Mississippi was not returned.

One week ago, an elderly Warren County couple was cheated out of $2,500 after receiving a call from a woman pretending to be their granddaughter in need of cash to bond out of a Canadian jail.

Their case was turned over to the FBI.

Electronics, drugs hot in city burglaries

Two residential burglaries and an auto burglary were reported in the city Thursday.

Eight PlayStation 2 games valued at $360, a PlayStation game case valued at $39, a PlayStation PSP valued at $169, an iPod valued at $269, a radio valued at $150, a 19-inch Toshiba TV valued at $195, an Xbox 360 game system valued at $400, Xbox controllers valued at $39 and an assortment of Xbox games were reported missing at 8:44 a.m. from a home in the 1400 block of High Street.

A 19-inch Sanyo TV valued at $400, a 19-inch Coby TV valued at $230 and a PlayStation 2 game system valued at $235 were reported missing at 10:49 p.m. from a home in the 100 block of Alcorn Drive.

A bottle of prescription hydrocodone valued at $84 and 20 CDs valued at $200 were reported missing at 9:29 p.m. from a 2004 Pontiac Aztek in the 3000 block of Indiana Avenue.