Scam May Have Other Victims

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"He was stealing the bottom numbers and route number that's on the bottom," said Forest Police Chief Mike Lee, referring to Willie Ray Smith, 31, of Forest, who is charged with stealing and using information from checks. Smith had worked as a delivery man for Domino's Pizza.

"The lady who reported the check to us, he had changed the check to $670 to pay for a vehicle he had being worked on," Lee said.

Smith was being held in the Scott County Jail on charges of false pretenses.

Investigators say so far they've been able to trace Smith to using the information to pay bills for a car and Dish Network television service. They say everything finally came to a head when Smith allegedly tried to pay for a bill twice by using two different accounts that were not his.

Even Chief Lee says he has now learned that he was a victim of the same scam. He was alerted by his bank.

"They were using a bank out of South Carolina to pay bills, and it came to the bank's attention, since this was out of state in South Carolina and it was for $60.00 to Mr. Smith, that they had no idea," Lee said.

So far Lee says the amounts Smith is accused of defrauding ranged from about $30.00 to $60.00 for each transaction. He says it's possible that there are victims in the area who were unaware and unable to trace what happened with their accounts.

If you think you might have been a victim in this case, you're asked to call the Forest Police Department at (601) 469-4141.

For now, Lee says investigators are looking into how long this scam might have been in operation. If found guilty, Lee says Smith could face anywhere from five to 15 years in prison on each charge.


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