Downers Grove police are investigating an alleged lottery scam that cost a local woman more than $13,000.
Police said the woman was attempting to withdraw $3,000 in cash from a Downers Grove bank on Thursday, Oct. 18, when an alert employee noticed she had been in the bank numerous times in the previous two days to withdraw "large amounts of cash." The woman said she was mailing the cash in an attempt to obtain a $2.5 million lottery jackpot she supposedly won.
The woman told police she had been filling out numerous mail sweepstakes for two years, and received a call "a couple of weeks ago" from a man with a foreign accent saying she had won the lottery. The man asked her to send a check for $575 to cover expenses for claiming the prize, police said.
According to reports, the woman mailed the $575 check, which was cashed and debited from her account. She then mailed two additional checks—one for $480, the other for $575—after the man called her back. The woman eventually became suspicious, and put a stop payment on each check, police said.
After the checks were mailed, the woman began receiving more calls from the man, who again claimed she had won the $2.5 million jackpot, police said. The man told her he would be coming to her home to drop off the check in person, but would need money to cover travel expenses and taxes for claiming the prize. The woman was told she would be ineligible to collect the money unless she complied, police said.
The man then gave specific instructions on withdrawing money and sending it to certain individuals, prompting the woman to visit the bank on Tuesday, Oct. 16, to take two cash advances, on two separate credit cards, for a total of $5,000, police said. The cash was sent overnight.
Police said the woman returned to the bank on Wednesday, Oct. 17, to take two more cash advances on her credit cards for a total of $7,500. That cash was also mailed overnight.
The woman returned to the bank on Oct. 18 after she was instructed to take out an additional $3,000, and police were notified of the situation. The woman has since received numerous calls about the scam from unknown numbers, according to reports.
Police said the total loss was $13,075.
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