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Police: ‘winning’ may mean losing cash

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

Pulaski Police Department warns area senior citizens to be cautious of telephone calls claiming they have won the lottery, a sweepstakes or a new car.

A current telephone scam targeting senior citizens is leaving seniors as victims rather than winners, says Officer Megan Jennings. She said the caller congratulates victims for being winners, but then tells them they must pay a large amount of money to cover processing fees in order to collect the winnings.

“Most of the calls are coming from area code ‘876,’ which traces back to Jamaica,” said Jennings. “However, con artists are able to disguise phone numbers into a local area code by using Internet technology.”

In some instances the caller becomes “irate, abusive and threaten the victim” for not complying with demands to send the processing fee, according to Jennings.

“Don’t become a victim. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” the officer reminds all citizens.

For more information on this and other scams, and tips on how to avoid becoming a victim, visit the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) website www.aarp.org. Scams can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.

For more information, contact Jennings at 994-8676.

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