The male caller, who had an accent, gave his name as Michael Turner, gave a badge number and a long tracking number. He asked if the resident had received something from Publisher’s Clearing House Friday or Monday, which she had.
The caller stated that he and two others were staying at a local motel and wanted to go to her house to present the prizes. He stated that he would be at the house in 15 minutes with two women, plus someone from the newspaper.
The intended victim stated that “red flags kept going up.” She did not give out her address.
A few minutes later, the scammer called again, saying that he forgot to mention that there would be shipping and handling charges of $423 on the prizes.
“Turner” stated that all the resident had to do was to go to a Western Union office and send the $423 to an address he provided in South Carolina. She asked why, if she had won the prizes, couldn’t they take the money out of the prize money?
“He said it would be illegal for him to do that,” said the resident, who wished to remain anonymous.
In addition to telling the woman he was a Christian and that this was legitimate prize, the caller said he would send a police officer to her door to verify that the prize was real.
After she hung up the phone, she checked the number and found that the call came from a phone in Jamaica with the number 876-466-6441.
Residents are reminded to never give out personal information to unknown individuals over the phone.