RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) – A Rankin county woman avoids falling prey to a scam that may have been potentially dangerous.
According to the Better Business Bureau, it's a different spin on a sweepstakes scam that could have gone well beyond financial losses.
Mildred Myrick, 76, said she received a second call Thursday informing her that she was the winner of a major sweepstakes.
Having never filled out a form, she was more than a bit skeptical.
"He said 'I'm with Publishers Clearing House, and I am calling to notify you that you are the winner of $500,000.00'.," said Myrick.
Then the man on the other line told her the money would be delivered later that day.
"I said 'ok, we'll be looking forward to seeing you and he said we? Oh is there someone there with you?," said the Rankin county resident.
He then reportedly told her a payment would be required for prize delivery.
Myrick ended the call.
His knowing her full name and address made her nervous and suspicious.
The 76 year old Myrick has more than once dialed the number that showed up on her Caller ID and said it was answered by a woman who spoke only Spanish.
She then contacted the Better Business Bureau.
"It was very disturbing to hear that the person started asking her was she there by herself," said BBB Executive Director Bill Moak.
The consumer advocate did a reverse search of the number and found it available but was unable to track down the male scammer.
"If they ask you for personal information such as if anyone is there, really the best thing to do is just to hang up the phone right then. Don't believe if anyone says you've won a sweepstake offer where you have to pay in advance," Moak.
The retired nurse's instincts may have saved her life.
"I wondered what would have happened if I'd said Yes I'm alone?," pondered the married resident.
"Do what this lady did and think this has to be too good to be true," advised Moak.
When Myrick received the sweepstakes call she said the word Mississippi appeared on her Caller ID followed by the 601 area code and 718 prefix.
The Better Business Bureau recommends that you beware of any similar calls and sweepstakes win claims.
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