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State consumer protection warns of widow scam

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin's latest consumer scam is an especially cruel one.

It conned at least one widow out of $1,400 in the days after her husband died.

According to state officials, a central Wisconsin woman got a call surprise call from a man claiming to be a life insurance agent for a policy her husband had at work. He told the widow that her husband had not paid his premiums for three years -- and she should put the money on a Green Dot Money-Pack card and send it to him.

Of course, the man disappeared once he go this money.

State consumer protection officials say anyone who wants to scam widows can get all the information they need from an obituary. To avoid such surprises, consumer officials suggest that couples write down all their policies and amounts while they're still alive.

They say you should never send Green Dot cards or wire transfers -- because they can never be traced once they're stolen.

Most of all, officials say you should never pay anyone on the basis of a stranger's phone call -- even if it sounds totally legitimate. Officials say most reputable firms put things in writing.