MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph A. Gerace on Wednesday that those answering an “urgent” classified ad seeking a “personal assistant” should be wary.

The sheriff said deputies have received reports from several people who responded to the ads by calling a phone number in which they were asked to personal information by email or telephone.

“Eventually, the scam artists will send a package to the victim containing U.S. postal money orders for an amount above what they have agreed to accept for a wage or payment,” Gerace said. “The prospective victim is instructed to deposit the money order or orders and send the balance via Western Union to a specified address,” he added. “This is always a scam because the money orders are counterfeit and the “real” money that the victim is told to send to the scam artist via Western Union is untraceable.”

The sheriff asked would-be victims to remember, “If it sounds too good to be true, it is.”