April 18, 2013
Upper Allen Police were alerted on Thursday of a lottery sweepstakes scam which preyed upon a township resident. The victim received numerous telephone calls advising him that he won a large sum of money from a lottery or sweepstakes. The caller provided the victim with bank account numbers and instructed him to conduct wire transfers to “prepay taxes and fees” associated with his so called winnings. While the fraud was ultimately discovered, unfortunately the victim had already wired thousands of dollars to the perpetrators of this scam.
The elderly are often the main targets of lottery sweepstakes scams and intimidation and scare tactics are frequently used by the callers to get their victims to cooperate. Victims are sometimes contacted several times a day and directed to send money to various persons and places. The probability is that if you did not buy a ticket for a sanctioned lottery, you probably did not win. Once a victim sends money, their name and telephone number is often traded and sold to other scam artists who then contact the victim claiming to play another role in the sweepstakes process. The subsequent scam artists will solicit even more money from victims until they have none left to send.