The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

August 4, 2012

Return call to scammer costs Valley victim $4G

WATSONTOWN — When someone you’ve never met gives you his name and phone number, and answers when you call, you may believe that person exists.

Scammers count on that assumption.

Sarah M., of Watsontown was inconsolable, breaking down in tears while telling her story.

“I’m so ashamed,” she sobbed.

After returning home from work one day last week, a message on her answering machine from someone named John Martin told her she’d won $2.5 million in the USA Mega Million jackpot.

Her first mistake: Dialing the number the caller left.

Her second mistake: Leaving a message when no one answered.

But it didn’t take long for someone to call her back and confirm the “good news.”

Sarah, 57, was thrilled.

“You really did win,” a man with an accent assured her, and told her they would be flying into Williamsport soon to present her with a check.

But first, she had to send $500 in order to receive the payout. The caller gave specific directions: Purchase a Greendot MoneyPak card, then call him with the number on the card.

Sarah did as instructed.

But that wasn’t enough. Over the next few days, she was told to send $1,500.

Then $1,200 more.

Then another $800.

For more details, see Sunday’s edition of The Daily Item.

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