Imagine how upset you would feel if you learned your family member be- lieved they won $2.5 million from the Publisher’s Clearing House—and it cost them nearly $30,000 to receive their “earnings.”
What if someone claiming to be from Amazon called your loved one and said their account—and their personal bank account —had been compromised and their money needed to be relocated quickly?
Unfortunately, both of these cases were recently reported to us (June 13, 2022) and our detectives are investigating them. Real-life residents in Volusia County have been hurt by these scams and others.
Our victim in the Publisher’s Clearing House scheme was notified by an unknown female caller that he won $2.5 million. Here’s a red flag: The caller said it would cost the victim $30,000 to receive the full amount. The victim was transferred to a cast of characters, including someone claiming to be the chief financial officer. Each reiterated that the victim must pay using gift cards.
By the time he realized he was being scammed, he had paid almost $26,000. He wants to pursue criminal charges.
In the second case, after being told her Amazon and bank accounts were at risk, the victim was transferred to the fraud de-partment where she was told she might lose all her money unless she moved it from her bank account as directed. Which she did, unfortunately. Another red flag: She was warned not to tell anyone because it might jeopardize the active investigation.
She too is out more than $30,000 and wants to pursue charges.
The criminal minds behind these scams can be very convincing and forceful, even when victims become suspicious. In the Amazon case, one person told our skeptical victim he worked for the Federal Trade Commission and even texted her a copy of his ID card.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s website MyFloridaLegal.com reminds us of the following tips. It’s probably a scam if you receive:
Here are tips to avoid automated robotexts or robocalls from criminals trolling on phones or computers for their victims:
If you believe you’re a victim of a scam, call the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number, 386.248.1777 or 911 in an emergency.
Please stay smart and stay safe,
Sheriff Mike Chitwood