BY KEN LITTLE
An Old Stage Road woman fell victim to a telephone scam Thursday, sheriff's Deputy Travis Hoxie said in a report.
The woman told deputies that she received a phone call from a man who identified himself as "Wille Anderson" and said "she was randomly picked through Walmart to win $800,000," the report said.
The woman was instructed to go to Walgreens and purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak debit card for $500 to claim the prize.
"After she did, he told her to scratch the number off the back and give him the number," the report said.
The woman did as instructed.
The man told the victim a lawyer was coming from Morristown to present the check to her.
"She said the car never arrived," the report said.
The 876 area code the call originated from is the local code for Jamaica.
In a recent news release, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warned consumers "to be on guard for a rising tide of scams involving Green Dot MoneyPaks, reloadable debit cards that are widely available nationwide at more than 50,000 locations."
The BBB recently noted a "significant increase" in various schemes where fraudsters tried or succeeded in collecting payments via MoneyPak for merchandise, advance fee loans or sweepstakes prizes -- all of which turned out to be either fraudulent or nonexistent.
Any website specifically requesting payment via MoneyPak is likely a scam, the BBB cautioned.
Consumers should also exercise caution when using MoneyPaks to pay companies or individuals they don't know.
The BBB recommends that consumers who have been scammed by fraudulent offers involving Green Dot MoneyPaks should contact their local law enforcement and file a claim, and also file a complaint with the state's consumer protection bureau and the Federal Trade Commission.