Deer Park man doesn’t fall for $800,000 scam


He calls it the “scam phone.”

When a restricted number flashes across the landline at his parent’s house, Bruce Martin answers.

“Mom gets confused,” said Martin. “And she may have given information to him.”

Martin is talking about the scam calls that regularly come through the phone.

On Monday, Martin’s 82-year-old mom was a sweepstakes winner. Martin wasn’t buying it.

The caller said she had won $800,000. He told Martin he needed to open up four bank accounts so that the money could be transferred.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

“He got upset when I told him I was going to check him out,” said Martin. “He also wanted to know how much money I had in the bank.”

Long story short, Martin didn’t fall for it.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says they have not received any complaints about this particular scam, but that it follows similar tactics of other scams.

The BBB encourages people to report these kinds of phone calls to them. For every one scam reported to the BBB, 40 more go unreported.

  • Red Flags include:  Large amount of winnings, bank account information, or deposit required in order to receive the funds, asking for personal identification and finally aggressive or intimidating language in responses, especially when you are asking for additional information or proof.  (mentioning a lawyer, etc)
  • Phone number spoofing is a common way for people to conduct scams. The number that shows up on a caller ID may not be the area it is being originated from. 

What to know:

  • -If you don’t know the number (even if it is local) don’t answer it. They will leave a message if it is important or necessary to return the call.
  • -Legitimate sweepstakes will require you to enter and you will not “randomly” be selected for a sweepstakes you didn’t enter.
  • -You should NEVER have to pay money, open an account or provide personal information over the phone or online in order to receive the winnings

If you receive a call like this report it to even if you don’t fall for it. Document the phone number on the caller ID and as many details as you can remember in your report.  We share the information with national law enforcement to stop scam rings

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