Friday October 19th, 2018 10:14AM

Flowery Branch Police warn of 'Spanish Lotto', 'Mystery Shopper' scams

By Brian Stewart Reporter

Law enforcement officers in Flowery Branch are warning the public not to fall prey to a pair of scams that have shown up in two residents' mailboxes.

One scam involves a congratulatory letter, telling the victim that they've won a multi-million dollar lottery jackpot in Spain, but adding the caveat that a "processing fee" of several thousand dollars must be paid in order to claim the prize.

Once the processing fee is claimed, the scammer disappears, said Investigator Robin Kemp with the Flowery Branch Police Department.

The lottery scam, Kemp said, is one that will probably set off the warning bells for most residents, with it being a multi-million dollar exchange from overseas — similar to the common "Nigerian Prince" email scams.

The other scam making the local rounds, which involves an official-looking (but fake) letter from Wal-Mart, isn't as easy to identify as a scam upfront.

The letter informs the victim that they've been selected to be a mystery shopper, a process that starts with a convincing (but again, fake) $985 money order to be deposited into the victim's account and subsequently withdrawn as cash.

From there, the victim is instructed to go to Wal-Mart and purchase $40 worth of merchandise. They are told they can keep the merchandise, plus a $130 fee for their services.

When they're finished, the letter tells the victim to wire the rest of the money through Western Union, where the scammer can pick it up.

The only problem is: The bank will figure out the original money order is fake, and none of the original funds will show up in the victim's account, meaning they've just wired approximately $800 to the scammer — money that won't be reimbursed.

If one of these letters shows up in your mailbox, throw it in the trash and report it to police, said Kemp.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News, Georgia News
  • Associated Tags: Flowery Branch, hall county, Crime, scam, Flowery Branch police
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