Moultrie Observer

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April 23, 2014

2 women face charges in internet scam

MOULTRIE — Two Moultrie women arrested Tuesday were charged with bilking a man out of money in an interstate scam using the Internet.

Orline Moore Baggett, 71, and Linda Sue Baillargeon, 48, both of 576 26th Ave. S.E. Building H, were each charged with theft by receiving stolen property in another state, Moultrie Police Department reports said.

They are accused of using an Internet advertisement for a purported Browning pistol to fraudulently obtain a $500 money order.

Robert Rossy, 67, of Hampstead N.C., reported that he sent the money order after seeing the ad.

“He never got the firearm,” police Inv. Raul Leal said. “After he tried to figure out what was going on the web site went down. The ones we arrested are the ones who received the money.”

Law enforcement agencies have had similar reports of county residents who sent money to purchase items such as motorcycles who are scammed out of money they sent to other states.

Cases are made in the jurisdiction where the recipients of the money are located, Leal said.

“This type of scam is one of those that’s frequent,” he said.

Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Richard Harris said that listing all of the different scams would take some time. And it could be useless the next day as those who perpetrate them are continually coming up with new schemes to separate people from their money or personal information.

At the moment, one of the most common involves telephone calls from people claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service.

“They’re calling and saying they owe this (amount) and they have to pay this now or the deputies will be out in two hours,” Harris said.

Another fraud of that type, in which an intended victim is asked to send money, involves fake claims of lottery winnings. For example, a person may get a call or email claiming an award of cash or automobiles but that they are required to send a money order to pay taxes on its value in order to receive the prize.

In another recent case, a woman in the county received a phone call from a person who claimed to be her grandson, Harris said. The man claimed that he was in jail in another country and could resolve the case for $2,750. The woman said he sounded like her grandson, so without checking with his parents she sent the money by Western Union.

In another type of scam the object is to get personal information such as Social Security numbers from victims.

“Basically a caller says they have a program that is so much better,” Harris said. “They just need information to set it up.”

Since scammers are constantly hatching new cons, the best advice is to not give any information or send money to anyone you don’t know.

“The biggest thing is don’t talk to them, don’t play their game,” Harris said. “Hang up. They’re good at what they do. They’re artists.”

Another rule of thumb is that government agencies such as the IRS do not make contact through telephone calls or emails.

“You will get a letter, or they will knock on your door,” Harris said. “The biggest thing is, don’t give out any information.”

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