Mt. Sterling leaders warn of mail and phone scams

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(Posted Sept. 16, 2020)

Andrew Garrett, Staff Writer

Mount Sterling officials are telling residents to be vigilant about scams occurring around the village.

On Sept. 14, village council members discussed phone and mail scams, making special mention of a piece of mail that appeared to be associated with law enforcement and the State of Ohio.

Courtney Bricker, village fiscal officer, said she spoke with a resident who received a letter asking for donations to the “Mount Sterling, Ohio-area drive for America’s police and sheriff’s emergency equipment storage.”

“It looks kind of like a formal letter with a signature on the back and Ohio Gov. DeWine backing it, as well,” Bricker said, who referred the letter to Madison County Sheriff John Swaney. “He said ‘no’ they do not receive funds for this type of equipment.”

The letter asks for donations to the United States Deputy Sheriff’s Association for use in response to protests and protection needs for law enforcement officers.

“I just want to make sure the public is aware of this, that this is not legit. So, please do not send them any money when you get this type of letter,” Bricker said.

Council member David Timmons reported a phone scam from what he said is an illegitimate outfit purporting to benefit disabled veterans.

“The Disabled Veterans do not send you letters. They do not do this-and-that asking for money,” Timmons said. “Do not listen to them.”

There are legitimate local chapters of disabled veterans that organize under the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) name. Timmons said this is not the same group.

Council members also discussed two recent crimes that happened in the village, one involving the theft of two vehicles over Labor Day weekend on Wingate Place. Madison County Sheriff’s Deputy Jack Dill said the two vehicles were later found in Columbus.

“The individuals involved, I know two of them are from the eastside of Columbus,” Dill said.

Both vehicles were seen on East Livingston Avenue and one was recovered from two suspects who were planning to use the car in a robbery.

“I haven’t heard if the other one’s been recovered yet,” Dill said.

Council member Becky Martin asked Dill about an incident of public indecency involving a Mount Sterling resident and children on Sept. 11. Dill said he was out of town during the incident but the Sheriff’s Office is aware of the facts of the case.

In other meeting action, council:

  • passed an ordinance in emergency that would update the village’s fee schedule for building. The schedule has not been updated in 15 years.
  • passed an ordinance regarding accessory structures in the village.
  • passed an ordinance accepting the local government support fund.

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