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11/9/2012 6:01:00 AM
Woman gets wise to scammers the third time around

Erin Taylor
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - A Wikieup woman lost more than $1,000 in two different scams before reaching out to authorities when she was contacted a third time.

The incident is another example of phone scams that are on the rise, said Mohave County Sheriff's spokeswoman Trish Carter. The scams tend to target older people and promise large prizes or cash in exchange for an advance payment.

"Always be cautious when it comes to sending money in order to receive winnings of cash or prizes," Carter said.

In this case, the 73-year-old Wikieup woman was first contacted earlier this fall by a man who told her she had won $500,000. All she had to do was wire $900 to pay the taxes on the prize. After sending the money, the calls from the man stopped and no prize money arrived.

The second call was from a person purporting to be a Merlin Banks employee who said the woman won $2.5 million and a 2012 Mercedes from the Mega Million Cash Award.

The woman was told to send a money order for $244 to a woman in New York. The money was sent off, but was quickly followed by a request for $400 more, which was not sent.

By the time the third call came around with another promise of prize money from Lloyd's of London, the woman called authorities.

In total, the woman lost $1,144. She said she's been contacted by at least a dozen different people promoting other scams since receiving the first phone call.

Law enforcement often is powerless to prosecute these types of incidents because the calls originate from outside of the United States and are difficult to trace.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, November 9, 2012
Article comment by: Web Dawg


Posted: Friday, November 9, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

There are websites run for fun by people who are scambaiters. They tell others how they string the money scammers along for weeks and weeks.

When you get an e-mail from nigerian money scammers, just reply many many times and call them a "mugu". Apparently it translates to "big idiot", or worse.

Just google "nigerian money scambaiters" and you find links to fun, educational, websites. But the best of them is here.

But the bottom line is, anyone that is taken in by these third world scammers really should not have control of their own finances any longer.

Posted: Friday, November 9, 2012
Article comment by: Wake Up

"if it sounds too good to be true"....guess what? Lady, change your phone number, for heaven sake and don't ever send a stranger MONEY. GET phone ID and if you do not know the caller do not answer your phone.

Posted: Friday, November 9, 2012
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

If one does a bit of research key to all scams is the victim thinks they are getting a deal, prize or something for nothing, and some might call it falling victim to ones own greed, desires! Anyone offering me anything gets the suspicious eye, do not believe in getting something for free and if one does win a legitimate contest, prize, lottery you did the required things to join, buy the lottery ticket or contest hence anyone saying you need to pay anything is a sign of a scam, fraud!

Posted: Friday, November 9, 2012
Article comment by: pl .....

I informed Nigerian e-mailers a few years ago that, if they did indeed send me a promised $25 million, that the money would be used to construct a giant statue of Nelson Mandela at the state line. I guess they were offended that I couldn't come up with any heroes from the Nigerian tribes (Mandela is Xhosa, from South Africa), because they never sent me the money. It only cost me the 30 seconds or so to compose my e-mail to them.

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