CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - Charlotte County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating a scam where an 89 year old man living in South Port Square, 23053 Westchester Blvd., Port Charlotte, was told he won $1.5 million from Publishers Clearing House. The elderly man said on Nov. 4 he got a call from a man named “Willie” who had a Jamaican accent and told him of his great fortune. Willie said the man needed to send a money gram for $450 to a woman in Coldwater, Michigan to receive a claim ticket and then he would release the package containing his winnings.
The man told Willie he wasn’t interested, but Willie called back 10 more times saying he was looking at his money and it saddened him to think he would never receive the money. The elderly man said he couldn’t afford $450 and Willie said he would accept $125 and that amount would be taken out of his winnings.
The man and his wife then went to Walmart in the Deep Creek area to send the money. A Walmart employee warned them this sounded like a scam, but they chose to send the money anyway. A short time later Willie called and said he got the money but needed another $400. This time his daughter advised him not to send any more money and he is out the $125 he sent.
Charlotte County has the highest average age of any county in the United States, and with such a large elderly population, the county has become a target to con artists using all kinds of scam techniques. The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office warns residents, especially those senior citizens, to be cautious of any phone, email, or mail requesting to send money or give out specific information.