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Alert issued for scam

Officials: Man took money from senior

POSTED: February 24, 2010 4:00 a.m.

Authorities are asking residents to be wary of letting strangers inside their homes after an alleged scam artist took money from an elderly woman last week.

  

According to officials, a man entered a residence in northwestern Dawson County between 1 and 2 p.m. Feb. 18 after telling the homeowner he worked for Ninth District Opportunity, a low-income assistance program.

  

Dawson County Sheriff’s Lt. Tony Wooten said the man, who is still at large, pretended to be on official business.

  

“He said he wanted to survey the interior of their home and help provide assistance,” Wooten said. “After he left, she noticed in her purse there was approximately $335 missing.”

  

The homeowner described the visitor as a white man, in his 40s with graying hair. He was reportedly 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed between 220 and 250 pounds.

  

Wooten said the man drove a gray Crown Victoria, “looking similar to a police car.” He also had a police scanner in the dashboard “designed to make people think he was there on official business.”

  

Wooten said the type of scam is typical.

  

“People come out and try to find a way into your house by convincing you they’re there for a valid reason,” he said. “They’ll either attempt to take something then, or they’ll come back later for it.”

  

He said scam artists and thieves often target the elderly.

  

“If you’re ever concerned about the person at your door being who he says he is, you can always contact the sheriff’s office, have us come out and see if we can assist you,” Wooten said.

  

He urged residents to be careful “especially with the economy the way it is.”

  

“There’s all kinds of scams out there,” he said. “If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”

  

Similar incidents have occurred in neighboring Forsyth County, where there have been reports this month of people identifying themselves as water and sewer employees to get inside homes.

  

The fake employees reportedly attempted to make appointments with homeowners, saying they needed to enter the house to test the water.

 

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