ANDERSON CO., SC (WSPA) – Every year lottery scams are one of the top five most prevalent according the Federal Trade Commission.
An Anderson County woman says she was scammed and is sharing their deceptive methods so you don’t fall victim.
Linda Williams says they told her she had won hundreds of thousands of dollars, with $50,000 coming in cash that day. All she needed to do was pay a $155 fee to get the funds delivered.
“I said no this whole thing is a scam, and then she said, no I go to church, I believe in God,” she said.
The scammers played off her own faith and trust, keeping her on the phone for hours as they transferred her from one person to another.
They even claimed they were with Publisher’s Clearing House. Like many, Williams didn’t know that PCH does not call people to inform them they have won.
“I guess I hoped that this was real,” she said, when we asked her why she stayed on the line.
That false hope lead her to Walmart 4 times, each trip to wire money to people she thought would help release her $50,000 cash prize.
Wiring money is a virtually untraceable method that should always be a red flag. And here’s something you should know. Don’t be fooled by the name and address they tell you to write on the form. If someone has that reference number, they can pick it up from thousands of locations all over the country.
“This is a huge scam that we see all the time not just in this area but across the country, and one thing to keep in mind is you do not have to pay any upfront fees if you won this prize. Taxes will be taken out after you got the full amount,” said Courtney Beaty with the BBB of the Upstate.
Williams reported the scam to Walmart which may help flag the people who got the money thanks to in-store cameras.
Still it’s a long shot her $1095 will be returned.
She admits, she’s embarrassed, but still has the courage to warn others.
“I have been a victim, I just don’t want anybody else to be a victim,” said Williams.
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