RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – You may not think it can happen to you, but you could be the next victim of a phony lottery phone call. One viewer got one of the fraudulent calls. She called 12 in hopes of preventing others from being duped.
Lilly Smith, 82, is on the phone often, mostly with family and friends and checking up on the grand kids. A recent call was out of the norm. Instead of family, she says it was someone trying to scam her.
"She says 'Oh, I am so glad we finally got in touch with you because I got a check here for you for $750,000 and it's ready to expire,'" Smith said, alleging that was the pitch the caller used.
She say she knew what was coming next -- an attempt for her to give up some cash. She says, "She says 'but you have to send me a check for $650 for the reissuing fee' and I said 'Really, you mean that?,' she said 'Yes.'"
If you think this story ends with a grandmother losing hundreds of dollars -- you're wrong -- Smith says she knew something was wrong from the hello.
She says, "I said well, 'I tell you what, you go ahead and take that $650 out of that $750,000 and send me the balance.' Then I said to her 'tell me something, are there people who really fall for that stuff.' I said 'Kido, go get a life and hung up on her.'"
Smith says the number that called her was a number beginning with a 567 area code. A quick Google search, and we found other people complaining about receiving fraudulent calls from the number.
Consumer advocates say if you get a call like the one Smith received, report it to the FTC or the FBI.
Smith reported the number and called 12 to warn other people. She says a friend received a similar call.
She says, "She said somebody called her and told her they had a car for her and I think they only wanted $300 from her but I think it is sad because there are some people who really think they are getting something for nothing. "
Consumer advocates say remember, you never have to pay to collect a sweepstakes prize. Also, keep in mind, you will not win a lottery you never signed up for.