Release from Marin County Sheriff’s office warns of money scam
Over the past several days, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office has received two calls from residents of Mill Valley and Strawberry, who have reported having unsolicited telephone contact from a subject identifying himself as an FBI agent who was working with the Sheriff’s Office on a lottery fraud investigation in which the victim’s heretofore unreported lottery winnings were diverted and stolen.
The victim is then asked to wire money to that agent to secure their winnings so they can be properly returned to them. In both cases, the name of an actual Marin County Sheriffs’ Office official was used to bolster the legitimacy of the caller’s claim. It is not known if other local law enforcement agencies are being falsely represented as well.
Neither party succumbed to scam and no money was sent.
The Marin County Sheriff’s Office is not currently working any lottery fraud investigations and would never ask the victim of any crime to secure the return of their property by requesting cash, or in this case, that money be wired to an international account outside of the United States.
Unfortunately though, these kinds of unsolicited fraud attempts are becoming more and more common, often targeting older residents who might be less likely to question the authenticity of the claims being made.
Residents are reminded to not provide any sensitive personal or banking information in response to unsolicited phone calls, emails, or internet contacts unless they can first verify the authenticity of the request being made. When it doubt, refuse the request and contact your local law enforcement agency for assistance.
Persons wishing to give crime tips are encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 415-479-2311. To remain anonymous and possibly become eligible for a cash reward call Bay Area Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.