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Local businesses alerted to advertising scam
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Local businesses alerted to advertising scam

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Local Chambers of Commerce have issued scam alerts warning area businesses of a man trying to sell fake advertisements.

The scam alert released on Monday warns of a man selling ads and marketing materials to local businesses for a directory that does not exist.

The man reportedly goes by the name of Jeff Hassinger and has been visiting local businesses in an attempt to sell advertisements for a fake "Farmington Directory."

The alert states  the man is driving a bluish-gray Ford Taurus and is apparently "wanted" in Illinois.

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The man was reportedly in the area on Monday. Businesses are urged to call 911 if approached by the person. Hassinger is reported to be 6-foot-3 with hazel eyes.

Hassinger has been accused of similar scams in the past.

According to an August 2013 news article in The Pantagraph of Bloomington, Illinois, a warrant was issued in McLean County for Hassinger after he was accused of taking money for fraudulent placemat advertising orders from at least nine businesses in Bloomington and one in Hudson, Illinois.

The report states Hassinger was charged with burglary and forgery. His exact address and the city in which he last lived were unknown at the time.

Bloomington businesses had told police the suspect went from business to business selling fake ads for Velocity Media Group Advertising.

A company website reportedly offered a link to send an e-mail, but no phone number or address was associated with the company. The website stated the company had more than 20 years of experience in marketing and that Hassinger was "one of the leading advertising salesman and publishers in the country."

Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at bradford@dailyjournalonline.com

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