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Police warn of scam

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By The Staff

Kentucky State Police are warning residents about several Nigerian scams that are ongoing throughout the area.

The scams have taken several forms, according to KSP Detective B.J. Burton.

In one version, funeral homes are contacted via e-mail and asked to provide a credit card number and/or bank account number in order to transfer a deceased relative back to the United States. The scammer states that the funeral home will be reimbursed for the expense. At various times, cashier checks or fraudulent accounts are offered as a down payment for the total expense of the funeral.

In other forms, people have been solicited to work from home or to assist in repackaging items sent to their home and forward them on to locations outside of the United States. In these cases, Burton says, items that are purchased using "identity theft" accounts are sent to an unsuspecting "re-shipper" who in turn sends the items out of the country, thus ending attempts by law enforcement to track down the perpetrator of the identity theft.

Another recent complaint involves the hacking of e-mail accounts and sending out e-mails to all of the contacts soliciting money for some type of emergency.

Police says there are a few things to look for to help spot these scams.

The majority of the scams originate from Africa and that lack of knowledge of American English often comes through in e-mails and other correspondence.

Common sense will also help weed out the scams, police say. If a family member is having an emergency, they will more likely call than e-mail for help. Many of the scams can be defeated by simply asking for a phone number so that you can call the person sending out the e-mail, Burton said.

Lastly, police say, if it sounds to good to be true, it most likely is.