Clay County sheriff expects to return $1M to scam victims this year

Problem Solvers

LIBERTY, Mo. — The Clay County Sheriff’s office is on pace to return more than $1 million dollars to scam victims this year. The department said it’s already returned more than $800,000 to victims in online scams in 2021.

One of those scams, the sheriffs’ office deal says it often deals with cloned Facebook accounts. It’s when scammers duplicate accounts and then impersonates a contact. Investigators said many scammers used the cloned page to ask for money.

In other scams, a large amount of money is promised, but the victim has to first send money to cover a fee. The sheriff’s office said the scams normally target elderly women.

Another scam the department is seeing now is known as the military romance scam. The scammer poses as a U.S. military general or commander. Investigators say the scammer contacts women online and tries to develop a relationship with them.

The scammer tells his victim that he wants to return to the U.S. to be with the victim, but can’t because his money is tied up in the United Nations. He then asks for money to pay for his way home.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office said that it’s time to talk to your older loved ones about online scams and what to do if they are targeted. If you know of a loved one who may have been the victim of an online scam, contact the FBI’s internet Crime Complaint Center.

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