A 93-year-old woman from upper Bucks County probably thought it was her lucky day when she received a phone call from someone claiming to be a representative of Publishers Clearing House. Unfortunately, according to the police, it turns out that this person was a scammer.
In a press release on Wednesday, Pennsylvania State Police in Dublin said the Milford Township resident learned she had won $1,000,000 in the famous raffle during the phone call of January 31.
“The victim gave the actor his bank details in order to claim his prize,” police said.
Shortly after, police said $3,000 had been withdrawn from the woman’s bank account “to pay an unknown bill.”
Police said they are still investigating the case as a case of robbery by deception.
HOW TO AVOID BECOME A VICTIM OF A PHONE SCAM
According to the FBI, “Each year, millions of older Americans fall victim to some type of financial fraud or trust scheme, including romance, lottery, and sweepstakes scams, to name a few. to name a few”.
“Older people are often targeted because they tend to be confident and polite,” states a section on elder fraud on FBI.gov. “They also usually have financial savings, own a home and have good credit, which makes them attractive to scammers. Additionally, older adults may be less likely to report fraud because they don’t know how to do it or because they may be too ashamed of having been scammed. They may also fear that loved ones will lose confidence in their abilities to manage their own financial affairs. And when an elderly victim reports a crime, they may be unable to provide detailed information to investigators.
The FBI offers these tips to help prevent seniors from falling victim to scams:
- Resist the pressure to act quickly. Scammers create a sense of urgency to produce fear and induce victims to act immediately. Call the police immediately if you think there is a danger to yourself or a loved one.
- Beware of unsolicited phone calls, mailings and offers of door-to-door services.
- Never give or send personally identifiable information, money, jewelry, gift cards, checks, or wire information to unverified people or businesses.