scam alert green 300HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (1/9/14) — Hopkins County Sheriff Frank Latham has issued a warning to area residents about possible internet scams.

One of the scams include notifying the victim that they have won a large sum of money and/or a vehicle instructing them to pay the taxes in order to claim the winnings.

The potential victims are then told to get a “green dot card” and to put the money for taxes on the card and give the card information to the caller.

“Normally, if anyone calls you to inform you that you have won a sum of money or property and asks you to pay taxes upfront, you should assume that it is a scam,” said Latham in a news release.

Another scam involves the victim's computer being taken over by a third party. The lock screen appears to be an official message from a Federal agency advising the victim that he/she has illegal material on the computer. The message also states that the victim is to go to a local merchant and purchase a “green dot card” and relay that information to the agency to pay the fine to unlock the computer.

The message states that if the fine is not paid the computer will remain locked and charges will be obtained.

“If your computer becomes locked and you should encounter a message similar to this, you may need to seek technical assistance from a computer expert,” Latham stated. “If any law enforcement agency is trying to contact you, it will not be through a computer.”

The sheriff's press release stated that these types of scams are difficult to prosecute as most calls originate outside of the United States.

The sheriff's office reminds everyone to never give out any personal information such as date of birth, Social Security number or any account numbers.

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