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Decatur Sweepstakes 'Winner' Loses $800

A woman paid an $800 advance so she could receive $2.5 million from the Mega Millions Sweepstakes Awards. She ended up with nothing.

A Decatur women apparently was tricked out of $800 by men claiming she'd won $2.5 million in a sweepstakes.

They first contacted her Nov. 26 and told her she'd won the money in the Mega Millions Sweepstakes Awards--a name often used in fraud schemes. She said they required "an advance" of $800 before she could secure her winnings. She sent the money with a Walmart MoneyPak.

They contacted her again and asked for an extra $2,700 to ensure payment. She refused and demanded a refund on the $800.

Since then, she hasn't heard from the men. They identified themselves as Jonas Weatherby, Howard James and Peter Blake.

She provided police with the receipt on the $800 payment and two phone numbers they called from in Reno and Las Vegas, Nev.

The Better Business Bureau and other organizations have issued warnings against sweepstakes fraud schemes.  In October, the Missouri attorney general filed charges against a Florida man for tricking elderly people out of money, sometimes saying they'd won the Mega Millions Sweepstakes.

Leslie Johnson December 08, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Something similar happened to a woman in the Stone Mountain area recently -- she was scammed out of $200 by a people from a phony sweepstakes they said was Publisher's Clearinghouse.
Wendy Martin December 08, 2012 at 08:31 PM
I am so agreeing with you. My thoughts exactly, and I mean these are grown peiople who is not using the sense that they were born with and it's pisses me off when they want to call the police and broadcast.
Wendy Martin December 08, 2012 at 08:33 PM
I get those emails also and just spam them!
Decaturette December 09, 2012 at 12:40 AM
There's been many good articles in the media and on the internet about why the elderly are so easily spammed, including their inexperience, decreased cognitive ability, lack of family to advise them, lack of connections with the latest news about scams, widows not used to handling money issues, etc. Have some empathy folks!
contented-NOT December 09, 2012 at 01:35 PM
I wish the crooks were caught by the law and expierenced punishment that equates to the heartbreak of the victims.

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