Scammer steals $10,000 with sweepstakes claim
A scam artist duped a local woman out of $10,000 with a bogus promise she had won a sweepstakes, Westerville police reported.
Police were notified of the theft by the elderly woman's bank after she withdrew $10,000 from her account, then returned a few days later to withdraw another $20,000.
The bank's manager told police the victim said she was notified that she won the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes but had to send in money to claim her prize.
The bank put a hold on the woman's account due to the fraud and called police Feb. 25.
The woman told police she received numerous calls from a man who told her she had won the sweepstakes and requested the money. She also had more than $2,000 on prepaid debit cards that she intended to send the man, police said.
She mailed the $10,000 to the address of a vacant residence in New York, police reports said, and the scammer's telephone number had a California area code.
Westerville police continue to investigate the case.
In other recent Westerville Division of Police incident reports:
* A window of a car parked in the 700 block of North State Street was smashed out and a backpack containing a laptop computer and a passport were taken between 7:45 and 8:35 p.m. Feb. 25.
* A 42-year-old man was arrested at 4:15 p.m. Feb. 28 for attempting to steal $125 worth of merchandise from a store in the 100 block of Polaris Parkway. The man was charged with misdemeanor theft through Delaware County.
* Jewelry and prescription medication were stolen from a woman's vehicle between 8:30 and 9:45 a.m. March 1 while it was parked in front of her home in the first block of Groton Drive.