Scammers pitch ‘sweepstakes’ win 5/16/2014

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 16, 2014

Scammers pitch ‘sweepstakes’ win

By Rupert Howell
A Batesville resident almost won the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes—well almost.
He got a call on his cell phone revealing that he had won $6.5 million, but he needed to go to a nearby store and get a card that would allow him to pay a couple of hundred in process fees.
If it sounds like a scam to you, it was.

He did call a lawyer and got Batesville Police to meet him where he was told to pick up a card that would have enabled him to transmit the  $200 “process fee.”

The caller’s name was “James Franklin” and he talked with a heavy accent. The “prize” recipient didn’t know why he was chosen but said, “He got my name and number from somewhere. . . I’ve got no idea how he got my cellphone (number).”

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He talked to the caller for approximately 45 minutes and had another party call Batesville Police to meet him at a location where he thought the caller might be waiting to collect the fee.
The caller apparently wasn’t there so he gave the phone to the policeman.

The caller cursed the policeman and later called the recipient and threatened him telling him, “I know where you live.”

The recipient didn’t seem too worried.

“Somebody else got my  $6.5 million,” he quipped.

On a more serious note the supposed recipient wanted to warn others in the area of the attempted scam and alerted The Panolian.

If it sounds too good to be true…

Comments from
The Panolian’s Facebook page:
Kayla N Jason Sergent: “If somebody calls me from Jamaica, it better be because I won a cruise lol.. I just don’t answer the phone for foreign numbers. They don’t need me that bad anyway…”
Amanda Snyder Griffin: “The same caller done this to my mother.. if u look up the number its from Jamaica.” .
April Taylor: “It showed up on my phone that the call was coming from Jamaica”
April Taylor: “I got the same call. When he asked when would I be home so they could deliver my money in person I hung up on him. I have never filled anything out for Publishers Clearing House so how could I win it”
Wanda F. Phillip: “Had the same caller a few weeks ago, I was told $500,000! Told him that he was a scammer and to never call my number again but he didn’t listen..he called again last week but I did not answer his call!!!”
Debbie Bell called by phone to tell us that she had been receiving calls from a man with the same name about 15 times a day, day and night, for the last three weeks. Same spill: $6.5 million, a 2014 Mercedes — just for sending that card for $299.