Two telephone scams cost two elderly Johnston County residents a combined $17,803 last week. Authorities want others to know about the widespread prevalence of the scams so that you don’t become a victim.
On May 10th, an elderly woman who lives near McGee’s Crossroads reported that she had fallen victim to the Grandparents Scam. The victim said she received a phone call on May 1st from a person claiming it was her grandson and that he had been arrested for drunk driving in Texas. He claimed he needed $6,000 in cash sent to him so he could post bail.
After mailing the cash through an overnight delivery service, the woman said she received a second phone call asking for an additional $2,000 for court costs. Once again, she sent the money through an overnight delivery service. She eventually realized it wasn’t her grandson and that she had been scammed out of $8,000.
Publishers Clearing House Scam
An elderly Four Oaks man said he lost $9,803 in a Publishers Clearinghouse sweepstakes scam. The victim said he received a phone call on May 1st from a person claiming to be with Publishers Clearinghouse stating he had won $3.5 million and a new Mercedes. To claim the prize he was told he needed to pay taxes on the winnings. Over the course of May 1st and May 2nd the victim traveled to a Wells Fargo bank in Clinton and a First Citizens Bank in Newton Grove on 4 occasions to deposit money into specific bank accounts. The deposits ranged from $1,500 to $2,553. After sending a total of $9,803 the victim said he was contacted once again to make a fifth deposit – this time $7,000. He became suspicious and alerted the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office on May 10th and realized it was a scam.
Sheriff’s detectives have been assigned to both cases, which do not appear to be connected. Authorities say it is unlikely the victims will be able to recover their money.