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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Police warn of scams

  • After a Leavenworth man lost $7,300, a police official is cautioning people about scams.
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    • Where to go for information
      For more information about scams, Leavenworth Deputy Police Chief Dan Nicodemus recommends visiting the website, consumerfraudreporting.org.
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      Where to go for information
      For more information about scams, Leavenworth Deputy Police Chief Dan Nicodemus recommends visiting the website, consumerfraudreporting.org.
  • After a Leavenworth man lost $7,300, a police official is cautioning people about scams.
    "We see them on a regular basis," Leavenworth Deputy Police Chief Dan Nicodemus said.
    And sometimes people "get taken for a lot of money," he said.
    He said there are various scams used. He referred to one police have seen recently as a "foreign jail scam."
    In this situation, the victim will receive a call informing him that a relative has been arrested in a foreign country. The caller asks the victim to wire money so the relative can post bond.
    "Sometimes they pose as law enforcement making the call," Nicodemus said.
    And sometimes, the caller will pose as the relative who is supposed to be in jail. Nicodemus said the caller may offer excuses for why he doesn't sound like the victim's relative such as he has a cold or there's a bad phone connection.
    Nicodemus said a Leavenworth man recently fell victim to this type of scam after he received a phone call from someone who purported to be his grandson. The caller claimed he was in jail in Canada.
    The scammer initially asked for $5,000. After that initial attempt was successful, he asked for more money.
    The victim lost about $7,300. The scammer had asked for even more, but the victim had discovered his grandson was not in jail.
    Whenever a person is asked to a wire large sum of money, it should be warning sign, Nicodemus said.
    "You really should start asking yourself some questions," he said.
    In such a scam, the victim can ask the person purporting to be a relative questions that only the real family member would know.
    "You could come up with a number of different questions that they're just not going to know," Nicodemus said.
    The deputy chief said another scam police have seen occurs when a victim develops an online relationship with someone who isn't who he purports to be. Once the online relationship is established, the scammer will ask for money so he supposedly can meet the victim in person or to help with a business venture.
    Nicodemus said another type of scam police see involves what are purported to be foreign lotteries.
    The victim will be notified that he's won a lottery. But in order to claim the prize, he's asked to pay taxes on the winnings upfront.
    Nicodemus said he doesn't know of any legitimate lottery that works this way. He also said people should be suspicious when they're told they've won a lottery even though they've never participated in it.
    Nicodemus said these lottery scams as well as others are very hard for the police to solve because they're generally operated from other countries.

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