The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating several cases where victims are told they have won the lottery or Publisher’s Clearing House.
In some cases, the scammers have provided documents to bolster the believability. The victims, who are often seniors, are convinced to send cashier’s checks or wire money to cover taxes or fees. They are told the person receiving the money is an agent or somehow associated with the lottery or PCH. Banks often question the victim requesting the transfer of funds, warning them they may be a victim of a scam. However, the scammers prepare the victims for this, saying the banks are required to make this statement. The scammers even give the victims a plausible response to share with the bank.
The funds are quickly withdrawn from the account and the ability to recover those funds can be difficult, and often impossible. It is a complicated system the scammers have developed to make the money very difficult to follow. Sadly, the recipients of the funds are also victims who have forwarded the monies they received on to other accounts. The funds are eventually withdrawn from accounts by the fraudsters via foreign ATMs. Victims in Dane County have been convinced to send tens of thousands of dollars.
“If you or someone you know is contacted out of the blue with the exciting news of a windfall, they should listen to that nagging voice that is telling them this is too good to be true,” said Sheriff Kalvin Barrett. “Anytime someone is pressured to make an immediate transfer of funds, it’s a scam!”
As much as people want the call to be authentic, it’s not. In the event of a legitimate lottery or PCH win, the lucky person would not be asked to transfer any funds. Before sending any money, people can contact their local police to help them do a little investigating. Do not trust the phone number provided by the caller.