Beware of callers who claim you 'won'
TUSCOLA — The Douglas County sheriff's office is warning county residents about a lottery scam that has been targeting county residents this week.
Douglas County Chief Deputy Peter Buckley said a man in Newman and a woman in Tuscola have received telephone calls from a man with an accent within the last four days.
"During both telephone calls the residents were told they had won a substantial amount of money," Buckley said. "One resident was told he had won $1.5 million, while the second resident was told she had won $500,000. The 'winners' were told the payments could be delivered in cash or check.
"Both residents were directed to purchase a 'Green Dot Money Pak Scratch Card' from Wal-Mart or CVS Pharmacy. One resident was told to purchase a scratch card for $399, while the other resident was directed to buy a scratch card for $200. Once they had purchased the scratch cards, they were supposed to contact the caller to inform him they had purchased the scratch cards and were ready to receive their lottery winnings."
The cards are a type of pre-paid debit card.
Buckley said the callers who perpetrate lottery scams usually place calls using out-of-state telephone numbers, and they often use well-rehearsed sales pitches designed to sound believable.
Buckley said residents should contact the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357 or http://www.ftc.gov to report telemarketing complaints and should consider getting on the National Do Not Call Registry (888-382-1222 or http://www.donotcall.gov).