Valdosta woman implicated in internet scam
VALDOSTA, Feb 02, 2013 (The Valdosta Daily Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Police have in custody a Valdosta woman suspected of participating in an Internet scam in which victims were deceived into forwarding money through wire transfer to purchase French bulldog puppies that were never available.
Shari Bell, 28, has been implicated in an Internet scam that had advertised bulldog pups for the past two months, according to reports from the Valdosta Police Department. Victims sent money to Bell via Western Union to purchase the puppies, according to reports, but Bell didn't actually have puppies for sale.
The incidents were investigated by the Valdosta Police Department's Bureau of Investigations, according to reports. Bell has been charged with two counts of Felony theft by deception and was taken to the Lowndes County Jail, reports stated.
There has been an increased number of scams in the area, stated Lt. Aaron Kirk of the Valdosta Police Department. Whenever a new fraud rings arise, the police department always likes to inform the public of the threat and remind citizens to take caution in their dealings, stated Kirk.
"One important thing to remember is that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is," said Kirk. "We do encourage people to contact the police department if they suspect a scam is occurring or they believe that they have become the victim of a scam."
The Valdosta Police Department would like to provide the following tips on how to keep from becoming the victim of a Western Union/Wire Transfer Scam or a Green Dot Money-Pak Scam.
Wire transfers, such as Western Union, should never be set-up between you and someone you do not know and trust. Criminals often have access to fraudulent identification, which can be used to pick up the money.
Green Dot Money-Pak and other re-loadable debit cards have been supplanting wire transfer in crime rings because the cards are convenient and untraceable. Be wary of advance fees, unsolicited contact calls and e-mails or singular form of acceptable payment.
More information can be found online at www.westernunion.com or at www.moneypak.com. Anyone having questions regarding these types of scams can also contact the Valdosta Police Department Property Crimes Unit at 229-293-3145.
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