CUMMING, Ga. — What an 83-year-old woman thought to be winnings from Publisher's Clearinghouse turned out to be a hoax costing her a total of $12,000, according to a Forsyth County Sheriff's incident report.
A woman told deputies March 22 a man called her and told her she had won money from Publisher's Clearinghouse. To claim the money, the man told her she needed to send him $4,000.
The woman sent in the money and a few days later received another phone call from the same man.
This time, the caller told her she needed to send more money to claim her prize. The victim sent $5,000 on March 25 and $3,000 on March 27.
On April 1, the woman went to her bank to withdraw more money to send to the supposed clearinghouse and told her story to the banker.
Her banker thought the story sounded like fraud and called authorities.
The scammer called again while the victim was at the bank and asked for $900. But when he realized he was talking to the banker instead of the victim, he hung up.
Deputies told the victim to change her bank account and to place a fraud alert with credit bureaus.