Vacation and money scams are not foreign to the Pine Belt, but an old scam is now getting a new twist.
On Monday afternoon, Carol Lindley and her husband, Bob Lindley, of Forrest County, received a phone call stating they won $2 million and a brand new Mercedes.
The callers claimed to be from the Publishers Clearing House.
“They called about six times and after that phone call, he called said the first presentation is on its way,” Carol Lindley said.
Shortly after, a grey SUV pulled up to the Lindley’s door delivering a dozen red roses, a box of candy, three congratulatory balloons and a teddy bear.
“And I said (was), 'Where did these come from?'” Carol Lindley said. “And she said, 'Well it was an anonymous donor.'”
The next day Bob Lindley said the caller asked the couple for their bank numbers and other personal information, but the couple did not fall for it.
“The strange thing he told me was that all the debt that you paid had to be paid in advance before they bring out the check, which doesn’t make any sense,” Bob Lindley said.
Investigator Nick Calico from the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department said this is the first time they have heard of a scam like this and said anyone who receives a call should hang up immediately.
“Don’t give them any information,” Calico said. “If they call you, and it sounds too good to be true, hang up.”
Calico said most sweepstakes are done by mail and not by phone.
“Look up the phone number for that company itself,” Calico said. “Don’t take the number from the scammers or the people that are telling you this number.”
The Forrest County Sheriff’s department is compiling a list of phone numbers that are being used to contact the victims.
These numbers will then be sent to a task force through the attorney general’s office.
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