A 69-year old Miami woman was scammed of over $6,000 last week.
According to Officer Daniel Petitt, the woman received a phone call from a man named Tony Brown who claimed she was the recipient of a $980,000 sweepstakes.
Brown told her she had also won a $25,000 gift certificate from a major car manufacturer.
“Brown told her he needed $550 to release the money,” Petitt said.
The woman obtained a moneygram in the amount of $550 and sent it to Al Oserbkar in Akron, Ohio.
Shortly afterwards, Brown contacted the woman again explaining that she needed to pay state taxes in the amount of $2,700.
“(The woman) obtained a moneygram in the amount of $2,700 and sent it to Al Orsebkar,” Petitt said. “Brown then told her to send a money order to Orsebkar for $2,775.”
According to Petitt, the woman obtained a money order for $2,775.
“Brown called her back and told her to cash the money order and send it in the form of a moneygram,” Petitt said.
Brown then contacted the woman and told her that her name had not been spelled right on the sweepstakes check and they needed an additional $5,450 for attorney fees to make the correction.
“The woman obtained another $2,700 and tried to send it to Jubar Danay in Richmond, Va., but moneygram stopped her from sending it because they felt it was a scam,” Petitt said.
Before the interruption from moneygram, the woman had been scammed of $6,259.38.
The woman told authorities that Brown is still calling her trying to obtain more money.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, American's lose billions of dollars each year to phony sweepstakes scams.
Here are some tips to avoid becoming a victim of scams:
€ Beware of any sweepstakes that charges money for entry.
€ Beware of any prize promotion that requires you to send in a payment or makes you buy merchandise.
€ Be aware that it is not the prize promoter's responsibility to charge the winner for tax. If the promoter is authentic, it will just report your winnings to the Internal Revenue Service and the IRS will bill you for the appropriate taxes.
€ Be aware that the description of the prizes may not be accurate.
€ Do not be swayed by high-pressure sales tactics of promoters.
€ If you do not remember entering a sweepstakes or buying a ticket in a lottery, you most likely have not won a prize.