CLAIRTON, Pa. - Target 11 Consumer Investigator Robin Taylor talked to a family that fell for a new scheme claiming they were sweepstakes winner.
At least a dozen people have reported being targeted by the same scheme. They get a call from someone who says they're with the Winner's Circle. The caller says they’ve won millions. All they have to do is pay the taxes.
Unfortunately, it’s a con and a Clairton grandmother fell for it.
"He said, ‘I have some good news for you. The good news is that you've won $3.5 million and a BMW car,’" said Geraldine Davis.
Davis was excited because the prize patrol was coming to her door the next day, so she borrowed $750 and then followed the caller's instructions.
"They sound so convincing that you really believe them," said Davis.
Her daughter-in-law, Sha-ron Gilbert, went to Rite Aid and bought MoneyPak cards, which can be used to send people money. The caller demanded she give him the numbers on the back.
Gilbert wasn't comfortable with what was happening, so she recorded the conversation.
"At no point can these cards be used until these people arrive to my home, correct?" Gilbert asked.
And he assured her that was true, but it was all a con.
"Within five minutes the money was taken off," said Gilbert.
The money was gone and there was no prize patrol. It was just a cruel hoax.
"Nobody showed up at my door. Plus I had my family members here. My daughter had taken off of work. And it was just a big letdown," said Davis.
"To me, they're preying on the elderly. They're preying on people who are older," said Gilbert.
When the phone rings now, Davis has learned to hang up.
"When they say money, you know to
say, 'Good bye, not interested,'" said Davis.
Pittsburgh police said the con artists are preying senior citizens in this region.
If you get a call from someone saying you've won a prize, the red flags should fly immediately, especially if they say they need money first for you to collect your winnings.
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