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Beware of this phone scam, which is fleecing people, mostly the elderly, out of massive amounts of money.
89-year-old Marcie Blume completely lost her life savings after falling for the scam, leaving her devastated and “depressed.”
Blume told FOX 4 about how the scam artist’s sleazy phone delivery lured her in, explaining, “He kept calling me princess and just made me sick to my stomach. He was the most convincing guy you’d ever heard in your life.”
The man called her earlier in the year and told her she had won a Mega Millions jackpot worth more than $800,000.
Since Blume regularly participates in sweepstakes, she believed that it was possible that she could have won. She explained, “He talked like he was very religious, very honest. He said I promise you on my wife’s life, my kid’s life and my life that this is true.”
Of course, there was a catch, which should have clued the woman in to this being a scam, but she didn’t see it. For Blume to receive her winnings, which she was told included a new car, washer, and dryer, she simply had to set up an account with $30 and send the man the money to pay for the taxes up front.
The man said he wouldn’t tell anyone about it, with Blume explaining, “He said pay the taxes now is how you can handle all this and then you won’t have to pay taxes and worry about it later. He said you can’t touch it because your bank is processing the check now.”
As you’d guess, when she later checked her account, she saw a deposit of more than $800,00, which she believed was her winnings. She continued to deposit money for six months expecting her payout to come soon. Recently when one of her daughter’s became suspicious, Blume checked her account and found that more than $800,000 and all of her money, amounting to $10,000, was gone.
She noted, “It was everything I ever worked for including my life insurance policy, credit cards, CDs. He stole all of my money. He also kept calling my husband who was sick in the hospital with triple money and he convinced my husband to set up a similar account and he also scammed my husband out of $10,000.”
Oh wow. She added, “Oh you better believe I regret it. I’m in a hole and I don’t know how I’m gonna get out.”
While she said, “It makes me very mad and it makes me depressed, makes me stress out and I feel stupid,” she did hope her story would help others.
Blume explained: “All I can tell people is don’t fall for it. If they call you, just hang up your phone and don’t even answer suspicious numbers you don’t recognize. I called him back and left him messages that I can’t even share with you.”
The FBI advises consumers that if they receive a call saying “you won a huge sweepstakes or lottery,” that they should hang up. As a helpful reminder, the IRS says to “never share your social security number, bank information or personal information over the phone” with anyone.