Senior citizens targeted in lottery scam

Scammers tell people to put up to $599 on a prepaid credit card before they can receive their winnings

If you get a call on your cell phone about winning the Mega Millions Jackpot, don't be fooled.

The Dougherty County Sheriff's Office says senior citizens are the targets of this recent a scam. Capt. Craig Dodd says people with West African or Middle East accents are calling people on their cell phones telling them they have won between $2 million and $4 million in the Mega Millions Jackpot.

He says the scammers say they need the recipient to send up to $599 for taxes or transaction fees. Dodd says they're also telling people to put the money on a prepaid Green Dot credit card before they receive their winnings.

"They'll tell you to put a certain amount of money on a Green Dot card -- and there's several angles to this -- and then give them the numbers to the card, and then they'll just drain the green Dot card before you get your money," says Dodd. "This is your basic Nigerian scam, the bait-and-switch situation."

He says three people have lost money because of this scam, and numerous others have contacted the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office saying they received the scam call. If you receive a phone call similar to these, contact the Sheriff's Office Investigations Department at (229) 431-3222.

Dodd says all cell phone numbers are available on the internet, which is one reason why the scammers are using cell phones for contact. He says cell phone numbers being available via the Internet is causing more and more problems, like this scam, and it's a problem the Do Not Call List can't help.

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