Seniors beware of new scam

Published 1:34 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
Frances Hayles wasn't fooled, but fears others will be.
The 73-year-old Atmore resident was contacted early Friday morning by a lady claiming to be employed with the Consumer Protection Agency informing her that she had won $150,000. Most people would be ecstatic after hearing the news, but not Hayles.
Hayles was tipped off when she learned that she had to pay money in order to claim her money. She knew then that the lady was trying to scam her.
Fearing that she would tip off the caller, Hayles played along and said that she would arrange the transfer of funds. After hanging up she immediately called the Better Business Bureau, which claimed that they had received several phone calls of the same nature and warned her not buy in. They also informed her that Consumer Protection Agency was not part of the organization.
About an hour later, the same lady called back to get an update.
Hayles was also bothered by another request the caller made.
The same lady contacted Hayles several more times throughout the day, but Hayles never gave in. She was also informed that the money was to come from America Direct Sweepstakes in Washington, D.C.
Hayles said she decided to contact the media for fear that others, especially senior citizens on fixed incomes, would buy into the scam.
"It makes me mad that's why I'm trying to let everybody know it," she said. "Some people do fall for it. The way prices are right now, with gas and groceries, older people on fixed incomes don't need to get involved in this. Everybody's dream is to win big money so a lot of people may spend that money or borrow it to pay that $1,500 thinking they're going to get $150,00."
The Advance did not receive a return phone call after repeated attempts to contact the agency.

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