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Elderly Resident Loses $3,000 to Phone Scam

The victim was told she had won $300,000 and that she needed to send money in order to claim the prize, police said.

An 82-year-old woman from the 700 block of Mills Street in Hinsdale lost $3,000 to a type of phone scam that Hinsdale Police Department Deputy Chief Mark Wodka says has become quite common.

Police said the woman received a phone call at 9 a.m. on Jan. 4 from someone posing as a bank representative who told the woman she had won $300,000. To claim the prize, police said, the caller told the woman she had to send a $3,000 check to an out-of-state address. The woman sent the check, and then realized she had been scammed when she was told in another call that she needed to send even more money.

She reported the incident to police on Jan. 8.

“The manner in which this scam occurred is common,” said Wodka, noting that most victims in these cases are over the age of 50.

The deputy chief said contact and personal information of potential targets are likely found by scammers through public information or the acquisition of the target’s purchasing information.

“The actual origin of where the (victim’s) information comes from isn’t necessarily known,” Wodka said.

He said it’s also very difficult for police to track down the scammer because often the money ends up in a foreign country.

Wodka directed residents to the police department’s website, where the department has posted tips to avoid being victimized by such scams

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Michael Dwells January 20, 2013 at 03:33 PM
I feel terrible for the victim. I read a similar scam reported at http://www.callercenter.com where the victim was told to have won $500 000 in a drawing and will be able to claim the prize after paying a processing fee of $350. The victim wired the money. But after she a while, she was told to send more money and she did. She was able to send a total of $2700 to the scammer before she realized she was scammed and she was devastated.

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