Hang up on scammers: Medicare scam

HARLINGEN — Local resident Judy Veach has heard that ploy before.

She wasn’t going for it. But she’s concerned others may.

Recently, she received a phone call in which she was told she won $65 million and a Mercedes Benz.

The trick … the person on the phone said she needed to provide a $50 “good faith” payment to the Internal Revenue Service.

Veach, a former magazine editor on South Padre Island, admits that while she is up there in years, she knows that’s not how things work.

According to the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information, it is clear.

“If you have to pay, it’s not a prize,” the website states under its information about prize scams.

Veach said she played along with the scammer, stating she didn’t have any cash, as she lives off of Social Security.

He asked how much could she afford and she stated, $6. He told her he needed to check with someone whether that would be OK and hung up the phone. He didn’t call back.

PalmValley Police Chief Alvaro Garcia recently talked about scams and their prevalence. He said with the Internet, scammers can find out information about the people they are calling, such as age ranges. He also said most calls likely are coming on landline phones, but cell phones have been targeted as well.

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