Portage County residents are asked to be wary of telephone and mail scams recently investigated by Ravenna police.
Ravenna police Capt. David Rarrick said recent scams include telephone solicitors attempting to sell computer service contracts, and getting victims to pay via Western Union.
"Of course, there is no service contract and the victim is at a loss, possibly several hundred to several thousand dollars," he said. "The destination receiving the Western Union money transfer is usually outside the United States, making investigation and prosecution very difficult."
Another scam that is becoming more frequent is potential victims receiving a check for a large sum of money in the mail, usually disguised as a sweepstakes prize, Rarrick said. A letter with the check provides instructions on how to redeem the check, which usually requires a handling or processing fee or "any number of reasons given to allow you to receive the sweepstakes (award)," he said. The check is fraudulent and "results in a loss to the hopeful winner, as this is a scam," Rarrick said.
These scams should be ignored, even when the person presenting the check offers to meet the victim at their bank to give the appearance of authenticity. Anyone who believes they may be a victim of these attempted scams, successful or not, should make a report with local law enforcement.
Potential victims also are urged to filed a complaint with federal authorities by logging on to www.ic3.gov and following instructions there to file a complaint, which will be investigated by the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, Rarrick said.
Internet Crime Complaint Center, http://www.ic3.gov