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Perham area resident loses $9,000 to scam artist

A Perham area resident was scammed and lost $9,000, thinking there would be a large inheritance.

Sheriff deputies on Dec. 29 said they have suspects in mind.

Authorities warn residents of Otter Tail County to beware of people who contact you posing as attorneys or banking personnel, saying you are entitled to a large inheritance from a distant relative or wealthy individual.

A county resident could be provided with fake bank statements, birth certificates and other fake documents if one questions the legitimacy of the offer.

The Perham area resident was likely asked to pay a series of fees in order to complete paperwork and receive a large inheritance. Later, a Perham area bank called the resident, raising a red flag.

"Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," says County Sheriff Chief Deputy Barry Fitzgibbons, meeting with news media representatives on Dec. 29.

He said scammers often use a personal touch to play on the emotions to get what they want.

Fitzgibbons said that an Underwood area resident fell for a similar scam pitch a few years ago and lost thousands of dollars.

"In many cases, victims provide their personal bank account details to the scam artist," said Fitzgibbons. "This information can be used by the scam artist to help release or transfer money out of the country."

Minor injuries in I-94 accident

The driver of a pickup escaped with minor injuries following a traffic accident Dec. 28 on Interstate 94, near Fergus Falls in southwestern Otter Tail County.

The accident took place at 11:29 a.m.

Driving the vehicle was 19-year-old Luke Lawrence Bowman of Jamestown, N.D.

"His Ford F150 was westbound on the interstate highway, left the roadway into the left median due to icy road conditions and speeds greater than conditions would allow," said a member of the Minnesota State Highway Patrol.

"The Ford overturned and impacted the cable median barrier, causing extensive damage. The driver, lone occupant, required extrication and was transported to the Fergus Falls hospital with minor injuries."

Battle Lake resident contains house fire

A Battle Lake resident, on Ray Drive, used an extinguisher to put out a fire that started in the bathroom at 9:41 a.m. on Dec. 28.

Authorities said an electric space heater was being used to thaw pipes. There were no injuries reported.

Theft reported east of Underwood

Sheriff deputies received a call on Dec. 26 from a resident east of Underwood, near South Turtle Lake, who said a break-in had taken place and several items were missing.

The location was a residence close to County Highway 122, a roadway that runs parallel to State Highway 210 between Underwood and Battle Lake.

The resident returned home following a Christmas visit with relatives at another location and found that the home east of Underwood had been broken into.

Missing from the residence were multiple firearms, electronics, jewelry and cash. There were no immediate suspects, according to sheriff deputies.

Driver injured during crash along Interstate 94

Sheriff deputies, working in conjunction with the Minnesota State Highway Patrol, reported that a 17-year-old female was injured in a crash along Interstate 94 at 10:21 p.m. on Dec. 26.

The location was in Fergus Falls Township.

The driver lost control of her vehicle and entered the right ditch after being westbound at milepost 50.

Authorities said her 2004 Chrysler Crossfire went off the road while the driver entered a curve to the left. The vehicle rolled three times and came to rest on its roof.

The victim was taken to the hospital in Fergus Falls with non-life-threatening injuries.

Road conditions were dry at the time, according to the state patrol.

Icy roads lead to I-94 crashes but no injuries

Icy roads along Interstate 94, near Fergus Falls, resulted in three accidents but no injuries during the early-morning hours of Dec. 28.

During one accident, at 3:09 a.m., the driver lost control and went into the median before coming to stop.

The other two accidents on Interstate 94 in southwestern Otter Tail County took place at 2:58 a.m. and 4:07 a.m. on Dec. 28.

Another accident, with no injuries, took place on Highway 210 at 5:08 a.m.