March 13, 2002
Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Shanley, (863) 534-6631 or
PCSO Computer Crimes Unit Warns Users Of Cyber Scams
The Polk County
Sheriff's Office Computer Crimes Unit is issuing a warning to Internet
users to beware of cyber scams. Two scams currently are under
investigation: one features an e-mail offering free money in exchange for
financial and personal information, and the second involves possible
fraudulent autographed items being sold on Internet auction sites/houses.
The Computer Crimes Unit has received numerous complaints from victims who
have received an e-mail from a person claiming to be in either Nigeria or
Africa who has experienced an "emergency" of some type that has left them
with huge amounts of money they need to transfer to new bank accounts. The
e-mail promises the reader they can keep some or all of the money in
exchange for their cooperation and financial information such as bank
account numbers, credit card information and personal information. The
scenarios vary slightly from e-mail to e-mail. Fortunately, no one has
reported actually giving out this important, private information. The
Computer Crimes Detectives strongly remind users to never give out
financial or personal information to unverified persons via the Internet!
If you receive an e-mail similar to this, specifically from someone
claiming to be in Nigeria, please forward the e-mail to the Secret Service
The Computer Crimes Unit also is investigating the possible sale/auction
of fraudulent "autographed" items on Internet auction houses/sites.
Detectives are seeking possible victims who may have ordered/received
autographed items through Internet auction houses such as e-bay and yahoo.
The items would have been sold from a P.O. Box listed in either Lakeland
or Mulberry. Possible victims are asked to contact the Computer Crimes
Unit at 863-297-3101. Items that may have been fraudulently
autographed and auctioned include baseballs, baseball caps, American
flags, bandanas, signed limited editions of guitars, trading cards, sports
items, cowboy hats, etc. The items also may include fake certificates of
authenticity from Kings Promotions, Autograph Association, Lone Star
Promotions and Celebrity Memorabilia.