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Daughter saves Massachusetts man from being victimized in sweepstakes scam

Mar 19, 2020, 10:36 am

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Scam AlertScam Alert: Daughter saves Massachusetts man from being victimized in sweepstakes scamRating:

SWAMPSCOTT, Mass. — A dream of a lifetime seemed to have come true last week for an elderly Massachusetts man when he received a call from someone who claimed to represent Publisher's Clearing House.

The caller told the elderly Swampscott man he had just won $8.5 million plus a brand new Chevrolet in their national lottery. All he needed to do, the caller told him, was to pay the $45,000 taxes due on the money and the prize would be his.

It didn't occur to the man being scammed that the tax bill on $8.5 million would be closer to $3 million, than to a bargain $45,000.

So, following the caller's instructions, he headed to his local bank to have them transfer $45,000 to a distant city where, presumably, it would be credited to his account by the IRS.

Then, still giddy with excitement about his good fortune, he rushed to share the news with his daughter — who immediately recognized it as a scam.

Together, they rushed to the bank, where they were able to interrupt the transfer before it had been completed, and all $45,000 of the man's money was recovered.

Detectives are still working to identify the perpetrators of the scam before they attempt it more successfully somewhere else.

According to Sgt. Jonathan Locke, Swampscott police public information officer, this was not the first such con attempted in Swampscott over the last several months, and in most of them, the victim is unable to recover their loss.

He said big-money scams seem to proliferate in times of stress and uncertainty, and it would serve us all well to be alert for — and suspicious of — anything that seems too good to be true because, chances are, it isn't.

Some common scams seen by area police departments include:

  • IRS scam:  A person identifying themself as an IRS employee demands immediate payment for back taxes.
  • Bail/accident scam: A caller tells you a family member, often a grandchild, is sick, injured or has been arrested and needs money.
  • Sweepstakes: You are told you have won a contest, sweepstakes or a lottery and must pay taxes on your winnings before you receive them.
  • Tech support scam: You get an email or an on-screen message saying your computer has a virus or has been hacked and they can repair it for a fee.
  • Internet sale scam: You sell something via Internet and receive a check for more than the price. The buyer asks you to deposit the check and wire the overpayment back.

The cardinal rule to protect yourself from possible scams is this:

If someone you don't personally know asks you to withdraw money from the bank and to send, wire or transfer it to them by any means, stop and think:

"Is this a scam?"

It usually is.

Salem News, Lottery Post Staff

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13 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by Stack47.
Page 1 of 1
duckman's avatar - ducklogodrake64x64
Jacksonville Florida
United States
Member #23017
October 6, 2005
1098 Posts
Offline

If you want to see how these scams work, including actual calls, check out the Kitboga channel on Twitch and Youtube. He takes the scammers to task and wastes their time and it is so enjoyable to see the scammers get so angry (some of the scammers invest many hours of their time and never get a cent).

Kitboga's Twitch channel has live streams and you never know what to expect Smile Many of his past videos are hilarious and include the common IRS scams, Tech Support, and refund scams among others.

    music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
    Fresno, California
    United States
    Member #157849
    August 2, 2014
    3959 Posts
    Offline

    Yes, this story has a happy ending. Thanks to the Daughter, Bank, and Police. This man had someone to confide in. 

     "We are all in this together!" 

      Avatar

      United States
      Member #205224
      March 19, 2020
      40 Posts
      Offline

      A simple rule - you NEVER HAVE TO PAY ANY 'FEE' when you win the lottery or a sweepstakes prize.  You will have to pay income taxes, and that would be when you file your taxes for the year. Never give out your financial information to anyone unless it is a transaction you initiated.

        Avatar
        Las Vegas, NV
        United States
        Member #44840
        August 9, 2006
        1803 Posts
        Offline

        A simple rule - you NEVER HAVE TO PAY ANY 'FEE' when you win the lottery or a sweepstakes prize.  You will have to pay income taxes, and that would be when you file your taxes for the year. Never give out your financial information to anyone unless it is a transaction you initiated.

        Phil,

        The people that are getting scammed aren't on LP to read this... or seasoned players to know this in the first place.  One can only hope that the people here keep an eye on their elderly family members (even from a distance) to make sure that things like this won't happen to them!

          Avatar
          Simpsonville
          United States
          Member #163182
          January 22, 2015
          2762 Posts
          Offline

          Somehow wish the banks were maybe forced to look out for their elderly customers.   I say bilateral orchidectomy for the accused!

            dpoly1's avatar - driver
            PA
            United States
            Member #66139
            October 16, 2008
            1998 Posts
            Offline

            The scammers always target us older folks!

            I tell them take a trip to Hades!

            Cussing Face

            dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

             

            Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

              Avatar
              Kentucky
              United States
              Member #32651
              February 14, 2006
              9337 Posts
              Offline

              Right now people are figuring out ways to use the current virus crisis to scam anyone they can.

              As for the Publishers Clearing House scams, that company should do a better job of explaining a winner's tax burden. State lotteries do a great job in explaining 25% is ducted for Federal along with state taxes (if any). If somebody calls and says you won something, but have to pay taxes up front, it's probably a scam.

              It's not my fault! I voted for Amy.

                grwurston's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                Same #'s, different games.
                Here
                United States
                Member #90247
                April 24, 2010
                10808 Posts
                Offline

                These scammers love to prey on the elderly. They try to act like their friend, and that they're looking out for them, and then they take advantage of their trust. Early stages of dementia or Alzheimer's makes it even easier for the scammers.

                Another thing to watch for are the sweepstakes offers from charities. They ask for a small donation along with their entry to help, whomever. Once you send in one entry, you will be bombarded by them. A lot seem to come from the Topeka, Kansas area. The names of the scam charities sound A LOT like legitimate charities, which fools their intended victims. 

                Do a Google search for, 50 worse charities in America. It's a good read.

                The lottery is the same way. 

                https://youtu.be/b5-iJUuPWis

                  grwurston's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                  Same #'s, different games.
                  Here
                  United States
                  Member #90247
                  April 24, 2010
                  10808 Posts
                  Offline

                  Right now people are figuring out ways to use the current virus crisis to scam anyone they can.

                  As for the Publishers Clearing House scams, that company should do a better job of explaining a winner's tax burden. State lotteries do a great job in explaining 25% is ducted for Federal along with state taxes (if any). If somebody calls and says you won something, but have to pay taxes up front, it's probably a scam.

                  Publishers Clearing House notifies their big winners either by mail or by having the PCH Prize Patrol show up at the winner's doorstep. PCH does not notify big winners by telephone, email, or bulk mail. Be very careful not to confuse a legitimate PCH win with a scam using the Publishers Clearing House name.

                  People also ask
                  Does PCH call you when you win?
                  PCH Doesn't Email or Call Its Big Winners
                  So if you receive a prize notification by any other method than certified mail or an in-person award, you know you are being scammed.

                  The lottery is the same way. 

                  https://youtu.be/b5-iJUuPWis

                    Avatar
                    Kentucky
                    United States
                    Member #32651
                    February 14, 2006
                    9337 Posts
                    Offline

                    Publishers Clearing House notifies their big winners either by mail or by having the PCH Prize Patrol show up at the winner's doorstep. PCH does not notify big winners by telephone, email, or bulk mail. Be very careful not to confuse a legitimate PCH win with a scam using the Publishers Clearing House name.

                    People also ask
                    Does PCH call you when you win?
                    PCH Doesn't Email or Call Its Big Winners
                    So if you receive a prize notification by any other method than certified mail or an in-person award, you know you are being scammed.

                    Good advice!

                    Most people that enter PCH probably don't know when and how they will be notified if they win and the scam artist are counting on that. Read about a COVID-19 scam where they say your credit/debit card was charged for a testing kit and ask for your card numbers to verify.

                    It's not my fault! I voted for Amy.

                      Avatar

                      United States
                      Member #205224
                      March 19, 2020
                      40 Posts
                      Offline

                      Most of the Publishers Clearing House scams originate in Jamaica.  Any prize UNDER $10K is sent by mail. Any prize valued OVER $10K is delivered by the PCH Prize Patrol. There is never any advance notice they are coming, the winners are surprised in person and there is NEVER any fee to collect the winnings. Any taxes due you pay directly to the IRS when you file your yearly income taxes.

                        Avatar
                        * In hot pursuit of $ *
                        White Shores- California
                        United States
                        Member #136471
                        December 12, 2012
                        6762 Posts
                        Offline

                        All this drama can be avoided to a " certain degree." If you know that your parent or parents are beginning to lose their mental faculties, you sit down with them  long BEFORE this sort of thing hits the fan.
                        Put a chart on the wall, several walls explaining to them that if anyone wants to discuss money with them, they * the Parents need to reach out to you first. It's worth a try, do something instead of calling up the police to let them know you stopped a crime in the nick of time. Boy was she lucky, part of her inheritance for all we know was almost out the door.

                         * Voice of Reason *   

                        * People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

                          Avatar
                          Kentucky
                          United States
                          Member #32651
                          February 14, 2006
                          9337 Posts
                          Offline

                          All this drama can be avoided to a " certain degree." If you know that your parent or parents are beginning to lose their mental faculties, you sit down with them  long BEFORE this sort of thing hits the fan.
                          Put a chart on the wall, several walls explaining to them that if anyone wants to discuss money with them, they * the Parents need to reach out to you first. It's worth a try, do something instead of calling up the police to let them know you stopped a crime in the nick of time. Boy was she lucky, part of her inheritance for all we know was almost out the door.

                          "part of her inheritance for all we know was almost out the door"

                          We get lots of these stories and always wonder when these seniors live alone, are the "kids" acting in the interest of their parents or theirs.

                          It's not my fault! I voted for Amy.