Two Johnson County women fell victim to scams last week, losing more than $9,000, police said.
One woman lost $9,000 to a scammer who asked for bond money after convincing her that he was her grandson and was in jail, and the other lost about $300 in a lottery winnings scam, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office reports said.
“It is heartbreaking for us to see these cases,” Johnson County Sheriff Doug Cox said.
Both scams are ones the county has been dealing with for years, he said.
On Friday afternoon, a man called a Johnson County woman, pretending to be her grandson. He told the woman he had been arrested and needed $9,000 to bond out, the report said.
The woman went to the bank and withdrew $9,000 in cash. When a bank teller questioned the amount, she said it was to help pay for a wedding as the caller had directed her to say. The woman then sent the money overnight to an address in Maryland, the report said.
The next day, the caller again asked the woman to send $9,000. She contacted relatives and discovered that her grandson wasn’t in jail, the report said.
People need to do their homework before handing over large sums of money, such as contacting other family members to confirm the information, Cox said.
The other woman received a phone call on Friday saying she had won $1.8 million and a new vehicle through Publishers Clearing House. The man calling instructed her to send nearly $300 to help cover the cost of taxes on the winnings, the report said.
The woman was told to wire the money to Kentucky, but a local store employee refused to send the money, and the woman then mailed a check, the report said.
Publishers Clearing House doesn’t require any payments from someone who has won a prize and won’t email or call winners of prizes of $500 or more, the organization states on its website.
“If it sounds too good to be true, it is,” Cox said.