The Thomaston Police Department is currently investigating an alleged telemarketing scam that one local woman said has cost her mother thousands of dollars.
Officer Robert Ellington was on July 12 dispatched to a residence where he made contact with the complainant who claimed her mother had, from June 29 to July 11, been scammed out of more than $14,000.
The woman reported her mother had been contacted by International Sweepstakes, a telemarketing company, whose contacts were identified as John Dickerson and David Anderson. They allegedly advised the woman that she was a “selected winner” in the sweepstakes.
“They advised (the alleged victim) to send money to continue the sweepstakes,” Ellington reported. “Over the last month, she has sent in the total amount of $14,200 by Western Union to International Sweepstakes, in return for the winning of a washer/dryer, big screen television, 2012 Mercedes Benz and a cash amount of $2.5 million.”
In addition, the complainant also stated Anderson instructed her to purchase money cards from Wal-Mart, call him back and provide the card numbers over the phone for cash money.
The alleged victim also reportedly provided Dickerson and Anderson with her date of birth and possibly other personal information.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns that this type of scam is all too common and has the following advice to anyone receiving notification of winning a prize:
- Remember that nearly all of these notifications are fraudulent.
- Never wire money - Wire transfers are like cash and can’t be recovered.
- You should never have to send money to receive any winnings from a lottery or sweepstakes. Be suspect of winning something you never bought a ticket for or entered.
If you have any questions about a sweepstakes notification, check with BBB at www.bbb.org.
Local bank officials have been notified of the alleged scam.