Another parish citizen victim of online scam

Published 1:41 pm Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Chief Deputy Mike Haley of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office said that another scam has taken more than $3,000 from a parish resident.

Haley said the incident all began with Internet conversations with a new social media friend whom the female citizen had never met. The new friend on the Internet connection sent pictures of himself and indicated that he was in the military.

Haley said that she had conversed with him for several months when he disclosed that he would like to come to Washington Parish to meet her for a possible romance. There was only one problem. He was stuck at an airport in Africa and needed cash to purchase an airline ticket to get back to the United States.

The parish resident was sent checks totaling $3,000 from the Teachers Credit Union in South Bend, Ind. She was asked to cash the checks, convert the cash to a Money Gram and send the Money Gram to another female in Connecticut who would

in turn send him the money. She did as requested and he then asked for more money before he could leave Africa, Haley said.

At that point, she became suspicious and learned from her bank that the checks were counterfeit and that she was responsible for the amount of the cashed checks. She attempted to contact her new male friend, but was unable to do so since his Internet contact information had been deleted, Haley said. She is now faced with the reality of losing more than $3,000 to her new Internet friend, plus having to refund her bank for the same amount.

“There is no end to the schemes that these crooks will devise to steal money from an honest citizen,” Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said. “They will come up with all types of stories to tug at a person’s heartstrings, whether it is romance, an ill child, being in jail in another state or a foreign country, or even being stuck at an airport.

“All they want is your hard earned money and they do not care how much hurt they cause. They are dishonest, unscrupulous, unprincipled, corrupt human beings. Do not fall for their schemes. Don’t communicate with anyone on social media if you don’t know who they are and do not answer the telephone if you don’t recognize the number.”