Over the past several days, individuals have reported several scams involving older adults in Westerville.
According to Westerville police, several residents reported receiving phone calls from people claiming to be associated with Publishers Clearing House.
The callers have claimed that residents have won a jackpot but needed to send them money or gift cards in the mail to claim the prize.
An 80-year-old victim told 10TV News that she sent $10,000 cash to an address in New York. She was about to send an additional $20,000 when her bank stopped the transaction.
A banker at the PNC Bank on Schrock Road called police on Monday to report the suspicious activity.
“They’re very convincing,” said Lt. Paul Scowden of the Westerville Division of Police. “They will get the people to say, ‘Oh, I’m about to get $2 million. Yeah, I’ll send $10,000.”
In the most recent cases, the mailing addresses have been from Florida or New York, police said.
Westerville police offered a few tips to avoid phone scams:
- Scammers want to remain anonymous. If you receive a call from an unknown number, do not answer. Call the number back once your phone has stopped ringing. If the number is unavailable the chances are it was a scam.
- Listen to the caller’s voice. Individuals involved in a phone scam will try to hide their natural voice or talk fast to confuse the listener.
- Ask for a mailing address, website, business name, tax I.D. number or call back number if it is something that might be of interest. Take your time to make your decision. Scammers will often try to rush you into handing over your money.
- Check on older adults. Many times they are just looking for someone to talk to thus making them an easy target for these scammers.
- Contact your local Better Business Bureau if you have any questions or suspicions about a potential scam.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it more than likely is.
Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for more information.