One tri-state woman almost became a victim of a scam.
The 83-year-old woman was almost scammed of $4,500, but instead of sending money over the phone the situation became much more concerning when they asked her to meet in person.
“Once that money is gone, you read that gift card number off, you send the check you’re not going to get it back,” says Sgt. Jason Cullum, Evansville Police Department.
On Thursday, EPD was notified after her gut instinct told her the situation she was in didn’t feel right.
She told authorities she received a phone call about winning a Publishers Clearing House prize and when she told the caller she didn’t have an email to receive the money, the caller told her to do something else.
“She received information, they gave her instructions she needed to drive to Office Depot so she could print out some additional instructions,” says Cullum. “When she got up there she was asked to provide vehicle description to someone on the phone and then that person told her that she needed to come out into the parking lot and meet with them.”
She told police she didn’t feel comfortable meeting so she called her son who quickly contacted police who say this situation is not common for scammers.
“Having an instruction to actually go out into a parking lot and meet somebody is something I don’t know that I’ve seen before. If it’s happened it’s been very rare,” says Cullum.
Police say the paper work she printed at the store described she would’ve had to pay $4,500 prior to receiving her winnings-a warning sign according to police.
“If somebody tells you that you have to give them money to collect what you supposedly won that is a big red flag as well,” says Cullum. “So do not send that money in through gift cards, through cashiers check, anything like that.”
EPD says the elderly are often victims to scams which is why it’s important to follow your instincts.
“We always want our people to side on the side of caution and make sure they don’t put themselves in harms way,” says Cullum.
Evansville Police say it’s also important to remember you cannot win a contest you never entered.
If you are ever unsure if you’re being scammed, you can either contact police or the Better Business Bureau.