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OCSO: 'If it seems too good to be true, it is'


If you are the victim of a tax scam, special forms the IRS requires can be obtained at the Brandon substation.



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April 24, 2013 - An 89-year-old woman was swindled out of more than $6,000 earlier this month and police are once again warning residents to be wary of lottery frauds.

"If it seems too good to be true, it is," said Oakland County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Pete Burkett, commander of the Brandon substation. "If you get a phone call that you won the lottery and you never bought a ticket, it's a scam."

According to police reports, a Brandon deputy responded to the elderly woman's township home on April 16. The woman said she was contacted on the phone by a woman claiming to be a USA sweepstakes official. The caller advised the complainant that she won a large sum of money. The suspect then requested the victim send a check for $6,350 via FedEx to a man in Tampa, Fla. The victim endorsed the check on April 10 and sent it. She attempted to stop payment on the check later to no avail.

Burkett said several township residents have filed complaints in the last few weeks regarding phone solicitors attempting to obtain credit card or bank account numbers. He reiterates that residents should never give these numbers to anyone calling them. He also recommends that adult children be aware of their elderly parents' finances and to whom they are writing checks, perhaps even becoming a rider on their accounts as the elderly are often targeted for crime and are vulnerable.

This was not the only fraud reported by a township resident this month. On April 16, a deputy took a report from a resident that said on April 6 she filed an extension for her income taxes with her accountant. On April 12, when the accountant submitted the extension, he was informed by the IRS that a tax return had already been filed in the complainant's husband's name with his Social Security number.

If you are the victim of a tax scam, special forms the IRS requires can be obtained at the Brandon substation.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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