RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Patricia Morgan thought it was odd when she got a letter in the mail purporting to be from Publishers Clearing House. Inside was a check for more than $4,000.
The letter instructed Morgan to call a James Moore at an 800 number to begin processing her prize, but the conversation immediately raised red flags.
"Well I thought something was kind of fishy because he told me now I want you to go and deposit the check right now, tonight. He said deposit it tonight," Morgan said.
She was suspicious, so she went to the bank to get the check checked out.
"And they said there was nowhere that they had issued a check like that," Morgan said. "And she said please don't cash this check because you will lose everything you have if you do."
It was bogus, a scheme to get Morgan's money.
NBC12 On Your Side investigator Eric Philips tried calling the number several times, but only got a recorded message or a fast busy signal.
Morgan doesn't know how the fraudsters got her contact information, but experts say schemes like this one are numerous and that the public, especially the elderly, should beware.
"Remember these folks are pros," said Tom Gallagher with the Richmond Better Business Bureau. "This is how they make their living, this is how they pay their kids' pediatric bills. To me it's evil, it's evil."
Morgan did not fall prey, and she's hoping others won't either.
"I just had a funny feeling something wasn't right," Morgan said. "Somebody's not just going to send you four or five or six thousand dollars in the mail for nothing."
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