Joy Boone can't believe what happened to her 84-year-old mother.
Boone said the scammers convinced his mother, who lives in Montgomery County, Maryland, to give them $120,000.
Montgomery County police confirmed the incident and said detectives are investigating.
"I feel like he was just brainwashed," Boone said of the incident.
According to Boone, it started with a phone call from someone claiming to represent Publishers Clearing House. She suspects that it is a scam in a lottery : When impostors contact people and tell them that they have won a prize, even if they have not entered a contest, and that they must pay to claim their winnings.
"They told him he would have to pay taxes on his earnings," Boone said. “That was going to be $92,000 in taxes.”
According to Boone, his mother received a cashier's check for $92,000 and deposited it in a local bank.
“They also told him that when his bank asked him why he was taking out so much money, he should tell them they were making improvements to his house,” Boone said. "He lives in a rental apartment."
Then, Boone said, his mother received a second call and withdrew an additional $30,000.
Boone described his mother as “very social” and “very active,” adding that her loved ones are “shocked” that she appears to be the victim of a scam.
In a statement, Publishers Clearing House Vice President of Legal and Consumer Affairs Chris L. Irving said his company takes "these matters, in which our good name and reputation are used, very seriously and cause us great concern." by the consumers who were victimized.”
Irving said PCH has “a comprehensive education and enforcement program to combat these scammers,” including “comprehensive anti-spam education” on its website, customer service line, mail and regular contact with consumers. .
Above all, Irving said people should remember “that at Publishers Clearing House, or any legitimate sweepstakes, no purchase, payment, order, tax or fee of any kind is ever necessary to collect an actual prize.”
If someone tells you that you've won a prize but need to send money to claim it, Irving said, you should "hang up the phone, tear up the letter, or delete the email or social media post" and then contact local law enforcement. . application.