Bank employee, deputies save elderly Tomahawk resident from financial scam
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor
A bank employee and deputies prevented an elderly Tomahawk resident from being defrauded last month.
According to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, the man received a call at his home saying he had won the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, but he had to provide $3,500 in order to process his winnings. A bank employee became suspicious during the withdrawal of the funds and contacted the man’s family.
The scammer called the man’s home while a deputy was there, and the caller hung up when the deputy identified himself, the Sheriff’s Department said.
The next day the scammer was reported to have called again, this time asking the potential victim to secure gift cards.
Two elderly Tomahawk residents have fallen victim to similar scams in recent weeks.
A Tomahawk man was defrauded in early November after being contacted by scammers who used the story of an accident involving his nephew and needing $2,500 in bond money, the Sheriff’s Department stated.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, the scammers told the man to purchase gift cards from Home Depot. Deputies believe the money was liquidated immediately after the man provided the scammers with the numbers on the cards. The Sheriff’s Department believes the scammers were based out of Canada.
A similar scam had occurred in Tomahawk the week prior, in which an elderly woman was called by scammers who said her granddaughter was in an accident and that $4,000 in Home Depot gift cards was needed. After purchasing the cards and providing the caller with the numbers, she realized she had been defrauded.
In both cases, the recovery of the funds is unlikely.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department reminds citizens that no government agency will ever call and request gift cards. The Better Business Bureau reminds citizens that they should never have to pay money that in order to claim a prize, and that gift cards are for gifts and not a form of payment.