PULLMAN, Mich. (WOOD) - Phone scammers telling an Allegan County woman she has won prizes are being particularly persistent.
Trish Mosley's phone rang close to a dozen times while 24 Hour News 8 was at her home Wednesday afternoon.
"This has been going on for like two weeks now," she said.
The scammers told her she has won a a huge amount of money in something called the "mega millions," but the amount kept changing -- sometimes it was a million dollars, sometimes it was half a million, sometimes they couldn't specify because of company policy. Once, they said she had won a Mercedes and that it was loaded on a flatbed, simply waiting
All she needed to do, they said, was go to Wal-Mart, get a prepaid credit card to "be responsible for her fees" and give them the numbers. Sometimes they wanted the card to be for $250, sometimes $500.
After that, they said, they would hand-deliver a check.
Mosley was told to contact a Bob Green, so 24 Hour News 8 made the call on a cellphone. But while we were talking to Bob Green, they called her phone again -- and it was a Bob Green on the other line.
And despite the fact that 24 Hour News 8's Steve Kelso identified himself and informed one man on the phone that the conversation was being recorded, the man continued with his story.
The so-called Bob said he was in New York, but the call actually appeared to be originating from Kingston, Jamaica.
24 Hour News 8 called him on that, but "Bob" stuck with his story:
Bob: "What are you talking about, sir?"
Kelso: "Well, I am talking about the fact that the Better Business Bureau and the FBI saying that the operation you are running is a fraud and a scam."
Bob: "Listen to me, do you want my call-back number?
Kelso: "Well, obviously I have it, Bob. I've already called you."
==Watch: 24 Hour News 8's Steve Kelso confronts "Bob," who keeps calling Trish Mosley.==
Even when Mosley told "Bob" flat-out that she knew it was a scam and that she wasn't going to fall for it, he still kept calling back.
They people on the other end of the line used double-talk and were confusing.
One of the Bobs even told Mosley that two days ago in Richmond, Indiana, a man told his bank clerk he had won and that the clerk followed the man, robbed him, and killed him. 24 Hour News 8 followed up. That never happened.
The Better Business Bureau says that perhaps as much as $120 million per year is lost to similar lottery and sweepstakes scams. Most originate from Canada and Jamaica, though some have been known to come from Australia and Europe. Scammers often "create a sense of urgency," like in the case of Bob.
The BBB reminds that anyone who wins a legitimate sweepstakes or lottery will not be asked to pay money upfront. It says you shouldn't buy a prepaid credit car and give the numbers so someone you don't know, or wire them money.
If uncertain, the BBB says, give it a call or forward a suspicious letter to the local U.S. Postal Inspection Office.
Anyone who gets one of the calls is advised to simply hang up.
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