Police Investigating Mail Fraud in Lake Ozark

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LAKE OZARK - The Lake Ozark Police Department sent out a message Thursday, urging consumers to watch out for mail fraud via the internet.

Police said victims of the mail fraud are often instructed to cash a check or money order for a specified amount of money. People are asked to provide personal information on the internet and become "secret shoppers" with promises of financial profit, rewards, and benefits. Fed Ex and the U.S. Postal Service are being used to deliver and transfer the checks and money orders.

A postmaster at the Lake Ozark U.S. Postal Service, Paul Dameron, said the U.S. Postal Investigation Service is investing these schemes to catch the mail fraud and get the scam artists behind bars.

Police said the victims of this particular scheme are committing the fraud for the criminals by cashing a bad check and then sending the real money to the scam artists. Consequently, this gives the scam artists the victim's personal and financial information for further victimization without them knowing.

Sue Hart, a local Lake Ozark resident, believes that a specific group is targeted in these types of scams. "The elderly seem to be easy prey," Hart said. "And it always sounds like a good thing to send money to help people."

If anyone has any information or believes they may be a victim of this type of mail fraud, contact the Lake Ozark Police Department at 573-365-5371.