TOMAHAWK, WI (WSAU) - A Tomahawk woman was the victim of a scam this past week but most of the damage was prevented.
Lincoln County investigators say the victim was contacted on the phone by a subject telling her she won the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, but in order to claim her prize she needed to send in $3500 to pay for processing and handling. She believed him.
When the suspect learned the victim had mailed a check, he started asking for additional money in order for the woman to receive her $8 million dollar prize. The woman sent an additional $4000 money order and two money cards for $500 each.
When the victim confessed to her daughter about her supposed windfall, the daughter contacted the bank and they put stops on the check and money order. The two money cards had already been spent.
Investigators urge people to educate their elderly relatives and friends about scams of this nature. The con artists are very slick salesmen who prey on the victims to excite them to the point about a large cash prize that they don’t realize they are being taken.
The scammers also tell their victims not to tell anyone about the prize they won in order to protect themselves. Deputies say you can never win a contest you did not enter and any legitimate prize will not require you to pay for it in advance. Fortunately for this victim, she’s only out $1,000 instead of $8,500.