Police said that scammers are targeting older adults with a scheme that involves a claim of a major financial win from a well-known company such as Publishers Clearing House.
According to the police department, the scam requires an advanced payment to release the alleged winnings.
Scammers usually ask those who have been targeted to provide a pre-paid credit card number as advanced payment.
The suspects also know personal information about their targets, including their names, ages and addresses, according to Westerville police.
Police said that in the past few days, older adults in Westerville have been targeted. Scammers have called homes promising up to $15 million in sweepstakes payout.
The caller claims a "tax" of $250 to $399 is required to release the money, police said.
In the cases reported, victims were given specific instructions to purchase "green-dot" or pre-paid credit cards to cover the "tax." The caller calls back in a day requesting the card number and security code.
The scammers take the funds from the card via the Internet and point-of-sale accounts, police said.
Westerville police said that they wanted to remind residents that things that sound too good to be true, usually are, and that there are strict laws governing how taxes are paid.
Anyone with questions should call the Westerville Division of Police at 614- 882-7444.
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