SWEETWATER COUNTY — On Wednesday, Sweetwater County Sheriff Mike Lowell warned Sweetwater County residents about two fresh scams in local circulation.
The first involves a bogus “eviction notice” making the rounds via email. A graphic of part of the email is pictured here, and purports to be from “Rock Springs Sheriff’s Office [firstname.lastname@example.org].”
The email goes on to instruct the recipient to open an attachment to get more information on the phony “eviction.”
“And that’s where the scam strikes,” said Lowell. The scammers want their victims to click on an attachment, at which point they are running a serious risk of introducing a virus into their computer.”
Lowell explained that legitimate evictions involve a detailed legal process that does not include emails from the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office. “Of course,” he said, “the email address “email@example.com” is completely bogus. The crooks’ objective here is to trick people into opening their attachment.”
Authorities recommend that Internet users never open an attachment from an unknown source. “If you receive an email like this one,” recommended Lowell, “do not click on any attachment links and delete the email.”
The second scam involves receipt of a very official-looking certified letter supposedly from the “Palm Beach Liquidation Gallery” in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a portion of which appears here.
The letter claims that you have been selected to “acquire an exclusive liquidation asset that has been appraised by a member of the International Society of Appraisers at a certified value of over $500.”
The catch is that you must first pay a fee of $161.25 to receive the item. The letter goes on to say that you will also be entitled to receive a “free un-awarded payout compendium of over $350,000.”
Authorities point out that while this sounds appealing, a “compendium” is simply a collection of information about a particular subject, in this case about unawarded cash prizes.
Essentially, people who fall victim pay $161.25 for a list and an unknown liquidation item.
Lowell reminded residents that legitimate prize awards are made without any advance charges in the form of legal fees, taxes, processing fees, etc. “And don’t let the fact that such a letter is certified fool you,” he said. “It’s all part of the package to make it look that much more genuine.”
For more information on these and many other Internet, telephone, and mail schemes, law enforcement officials recommend the FBI website.