Phone scam attempts to lure people away from home
One woman didn't fall for the scam, went to authorities
A Nova Scotia woman is warning of a scam that appears to try to lure people from their homes, on the pretext they've won a major sweepstakes prize.
A Halifax woman, the CBC has decided to only identify as Barbara, contacted CBC News to describe what happened.
"He told me I had won second prize at Publishers Clearing House," she said. "I had no reason to have won a prize there."
The caller told Barbara her prize was $25 million and a pearl white Mercedes Benz. But the method for collecting that prize troubled Barbara.
"He asked me to go to Walmart and I would be contacted there," she said. "Somebody who would sell me a blue card with a certain amount of numbers. That was supposed to be a special code, for $200."
"I'd bring that back here with my driver's license and they would deliver the prize package to me then," Barbara added.
She took her concerns to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre who told her they had never heard of this particular scam.
The scam was news to Halifax Regional Police as well.
"It's always concerning when we're having these kinds of complaints where victims are asked to leave their house and meet with someone they don't know," said Const. Pierre Bourdages.
"People then become very vulnerable," he said. "They could be robbed. Even if it's a public place, their money can then be taken very easily. We don't suggest that people meet somebody they don't know even if it's in a public place."
Barbara didn't meet with the caller. The man, who identified himself as David Miller, kept calling her. She kept hanging up. But she kept recordings of his messages.
"This is David. I don't know why you hang up the phone on me," the message said. "I was trying to call you to see if everything is all right with you and you have the card then so we can come over with the package."
Publishers Clearing House has a warning right on its website that it never requests payment for any of its sweepstakes prizes.