Law enforcement officials warn of scams

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Area law enforcement officials are cautioning bi-county residents of more telephone scams circulating in the southwest Missouri area.

Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly reported his office is receiving numerous complaints.

"We get about one call a day concerning some kind of scam that's going on," he said. "If it sounds too good to be true, people should call the sheriff's office. We can tell them if it's a scam or not."

Purdy Police Chief Jackie Lowe reported a Jamaican scammer had once again been contacting Purdy residents and attempting to gain confidential information.

"We also had a resident try to sell something on Craig's List, and an individual sent her two money orders for over $900 each and told her to cash them and Western Union the remaining funds to an address in New Hampshire."

The resident became suspicious and contacted Lowe. After the Purdy Post Office confirmed they were forged documents, the potential victim was advised to turn the matter over to the postal inspector.

"The fraudulent money orders came from one name and address, and the remaining funds were to be wire transferred to another name and address," Lowe said. "The potential victim did the right thing by checking with the post office and not sending any merchandise to the scammer. This qualifies as a felony."

Reward offered

Lawrence County law enforcement officials are still seeking the whereabouts of Martin Meza, also known as Carlos Gonzalez, age 28, who has been charged with first degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Able Ibarra, of Purdy.

The Barry-Lawrence Chapter of Crime Stoppers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for tips that lead to the arrest of those wanted for felony crimes. Tips may be submitted by calling 354-TIPS (8477) or toll-free at 1-888-635-TIPS (8477). Tipsters may remain anonymous.

Tips may also be submitted through the Barry-Lawrence Crime Stoppers website at Web-based tips are ineligible for a reward.

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