Sheriff warns of scam targeting the elderly

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - The bottom line, if someone calls to tell you that you've just won a big pot of money, but then they tell you that you have to pay something out of your own pocket to get it, it's a scam.

An 80 year old Rowan County is out of $300 today because she believed the pitch being given to her by the voice on the phone.  The man congratulated the women, telling her that she had won $750,000 in a drawing that she didn't remember even entering.

There was on catch.

The man told the woman to go and get a $300 pre paid Walmart gift card, then to give him all of the information so that he could access the money.  That way, he could get her $750K on the way.

The woman did as she was told, then called her son to tell him about her stroke of good fortune.  The son recognized that something was wrong with this picture.  He went to his mother's home and happened to be there when the con man called back.

The son began asking a lot of questions, too many, it turns out for the con man, so he hung up.  Unfortunately by this time he had the information about the gift card.

The son called the Rowan Sheriff's Office.  A deputy came to the house to fill out the report, and the con man called back.  The deputy was on the phone with him for a short time, but perhaps sensing that something wasn't right, the con man ended the call and attempts to call the number back were not successful.

"If you get a call about winning a prize, they're not going to ask you to pay an up front fee so that you can obtain your prize," Captain John Sifford told WBTV.  "Just ignore that call."