An 83-year-old Eau Claire woman was bilked out of nearly $40,000 in what appears to be a phone scam.
According to Eau Claire police:
The woman received a call Friday on her cellphone from a person claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House. The caller told the woman she won $2.5 million but needed her to send some money to facilitate the transfer of funds.
The woman was asked to send $3,500 via cashier’s check to an address in Nevada, which she did.
The following day the woman was asked to send more than $17,000, which she did. Later the same day, she sent more than $18,000 upon request.
The next day phone calls continued asking for more money, but the woman had exhausted her savings.
The woman was asked to borrow another $10,000. Upon trying to borrow this amount, the woman’s local financial institution advised her this was a scam.
The woman then tried to open an account at a different bank but was appropriately questioned by the bank employee and told this was a scam, Eau Claire police spokesman Kyle Roder said.
The case has been forwarded to the financial crimes investigator for review, he said.
“These cases are very difficult to investigate due to their complexities and unknown jurisdiction,” Roder said.
“Prevention through education is the best method to avoid becoming a victim,” he said.