DELHI _ The Delaware County Sheriff's office has been notified of a scam letter received by a local resident.

On Tuesday, a letter allegedly from The National Lotto Co-operation Sweepstakes Lottery came in an envelope with Canadian postage and an enclosed letter and check from Premier Insurance Inc.

The letter advised the resident of winnings worth $150,000 and included instructions on how to claim the remainder of the prize money. A check inside the envelope that appeared to be valid was found to be fraudulent.

The recipient of the letter was instructed to electronically transmit a sum of money, representing the alleged taxes and fees on the winnings, to a tax agent before the recipient would be awarded the rest of the alleged winnings.

The sheriff's office warned that letters of this nature are common scams. Residents are cautioned not to follow the directions included with the letter because the checks are likely to be declined by the bank after the advanced money has been transmitted to the tax agent.

Residents with questions are asked to contact their local law-enforcement agencies.

{"headline18"/}City mails seniors survey

ONEONTA _ City officials are encouraging seniors to fill out a pre-application/survey in order to gauge interest in a senior housing-rehabilitation program.

Housing-rehabilitation projects such as these typically involve activities such as roof and furnace repair.

The pre-application/survey was mailed to citizens ages 65 and older, according to a media release from officials.

The survey does not guarantee eligibility or commit funding, but will be used to determine public interest and establish a list of potential beneficiaries of the funding if the state program is awarded to the city.

The Small Cities Program, through which the housing funding is available, is administered by the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal.

The city is encouraging all those that received the mailing and who think they would be eligible to return the mailing to the City Clerk's Office or the Community Development Office no later than March 23.

{"headline18"/}Monastery theft alleged

OTEGO _ An Oneonta man was arrested Saturday on charges he stole from the Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery in Otego.

Michael P. Balbuena, 24, was charged by state police at Oneonta with fourth-degree grand larceny and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Troopers said Balbuena was hired to do work and was given a credit card from the monastery, which he used to make $1,200 in purchases.

Instead, Balbuena used the card for himself, troopers said.

Balbuena is slated to answer the charges in Otego Town Court at a later date.

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