Originally Published: July 18, 2014 6 a.m.
PRESCOTT, Arizona - A woman who thought she had won a Mega Millions lottery prize lost more than $20,000 to con artists in a scam, according to a Prescott Police report.
The woman, 78, was originally contacted by phone in February and told she had won a prize. The suspect sent her a check for $18,000, which she deposited into her bank account as he instructed, the report said.
She next made two $9,000 cash withdrawals, again following the caller's instructions, and sent the cash to Jamaica.
A few days later, her bank said the $18,000 check did not clear and she needed to return the money.
The victim cobbled the funds together, selling her car, among other things, to pay it back.
The suspect continued to contact her, and in late June, convinced her to send payments of $50, $100, and $140 to Jamaica.
"(She) did not receive her prize and realized that she had been scammed again," the report said.
She had also sent about $3,300 to Jamaica in January to claim a supposed $350,000 prize and a new car, she told police.
The officer said the suspect called her phone several times while they were talking, and the suspect hung up when the officer took the phone. He was able to block the number, but then the suspect called back using "unknown" numbers."