Money-order scam reported in Columbia County

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A new scam that hit Columbia County this week is proof that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

A resident there reported receiving an envelope in the mail with well over $2,500 in three U.S. Postal money orders payable in her name. Not expecting any money, she took them to Columbia County Sheriff's officials only to discover the money is part of a scam, according to an announcement from the sheriff's office.

Sheriff's officials contacted the Dayton Post Office and learned the scam reportedly originates in Nigeria. Here's how it works: An unsuspecting victim receives the money orders and deposits them in a bank account, which gives the scam artists access to the account number. All funds are then drained from the account before the bank determines the money orders are no good.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office is warning area residents to be wary of any checks, bank drafts, money orders or other such documents received in unsolicited mail.

Concerned citizens seeking more information or interested in reporting other possible scams can call the Columbia County Sheriff's Office at 509-382-2518.

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