Rowan County woman scammed out of $300

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Authorities say someone scammed an 80-year-old Rowan County woman by telling her she’d won more than half a million dollars, but she had to pay in order to claim it.
The woman, whom the Post is not naming, did not recall entering any drawings, but was told if she went to Walmart on Friday to buy a pre-paid gift card she would receive $750,000.
Officials with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office warn people against giving money to mysterious callers with the promise of a big prize.
The scammer told the woman she could only obtain the money if she paid the taxes on her prize, which amounted to $300, a report said.
The woman went to Walmart, bought a Visa gift card and called the scammer back, giving him the numbers listed on the card. The man on the phone asked the woman to provide personal information including if she lived alone, what bank she was a member of and what time she went to bed. She called her son to tell him she’d won a drawing.
The man called back and her son answered the phone. He began speaking with the scammer. Authorities arrived at the woman’s house to obtain some information and while there, the scammer called again.
The officer spoke to the man on the line who thought the officer was the son and tried to convince the officer it wasn’t a scam.
The scammer offered to meet with the woman, but backed off when the officer agreed to a meeting. The officer eventually told the scammer he was a law enforcement officer and asked him to stay on the line. The caller hung up.
Rowan Sheriff’s Capt. John Sifford said any legitimate contest would not require a payment of any sort in order to claim the prize. He also advised residents to ignore calls that appear to be similar to this scam.