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Visitor's Guide Scam Targets Madera County

MADERA COUNTY – Sheriff John Anderson is warning all merchants who operate a business in Madera County about a scam.

“If you receive a call from someone offering to renew your annual ad with the Visitor’s Guide, it could be a scam,” he says.

The Sheriff’s Office was notified by a Bass Lake area business owner who says someone called her establishment about renewing their ad.

The caller was equipped with the right amount of information to sound relatively convincing. She was told that she could save money if she agreed to pay now. As an added incentive, the caller even offered a very low rate.

The merchant, who happens to be very familiar with the annual publication, smelled a rat from the start. But the Sheriff’s Office warns that businesses new to Madera County may not know where to turn or whom to call.

Sheriff Anderson says the Visitor’s Guide, published by the Sierra Star, encompasses all businesses in the following areas: Ahawhanee, Bass Lake, Chowchilla, Coarsegold, Fish Camp, Madera, Madera Ranchos, North Fork, Oakhurst, O’Neals and Wawona.

Anderson notes that personnel from the Star do indeed make calls to invite businesses to participate in the publication, but suggests that if you receive a call asking you to buy an ad, the best course of action, given the current danger with this scam, is to hang up and call the Sierra Star’s sales department at 559-683-4464, or the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau at 559-683-4636.

For more information about the Visitor’s Guide, log onto http://www.visitmaderacounty.com/visitors-guide

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