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Scam preys on Obamaphobics

KINGMAN - A member of the public safety group Mohave Silent Witness said she was on the receiving end of a phone scam tailored to prey on people's political leanings.

The scammer reportedly called three weeks ago and asked for donations for a petition to force President Barack Obama to produce an original, certified copy of his birth certificate.

The man purported to be from an organization that wants Obama out of office.

The Silent Witness member listened to the caller's entire speech but smartly asked for the caller to send the request in the form of a letter or email, said Mohave County Sheriff's spokeswoman Trish Carter. Even though the caller took the woman's email address, she never received anything from the group.

Carter said that people are wise to be suspicious of such calls and are cautioned against giving out any personal information.

"No matter the reason, if an unknown caller wants personal information from you such as your address, a credit card number, bank draft or Western Union transfer, under no circumstances give this information out," she said. "Nine times out of 10, it will be a scam just to get money from you."

Law enforcement is often handcuffed by lack of information or jurisdiction in recovering money lost in scams such as this one, she added.

To report a crime to Silent Witness anonymously, call (928) 753-1234, 1-888-227-8780 or log onto http://mohavesilentwitness.tripod.com.

The allegation that Obama was not born in the United States remains persistent in some political circles despite records produced in Hawaii, where Obama was born, and the fact that the president released a copy of his long-form birth certificate last year. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is among those who have raised questions about the certificate released by the White House.

He has plenty of detractors in Mohave County, where he got less than 30 percent of the vote in November.


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