Couple in their 90s lose nearly $14K in prize scheme

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An Arizona couple lost nearly $14,000 in a phone scheme claiming they won a sweepstakes.

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office said the couple from Congress, AZ, received a call on March 6 from a man who called himself "Tony" and told the couple they won a Mercedes-Benz and needed to pay a $1,200 processing fee to get it.

They got pre-paid "Green Dot" cards and gave the card numbers to "Tony" over the next week, totaling more than $11,000.

The husband then received a call from a man named "John" who said the couple had won several gold bricks. The victim requested to meet "John" in person to get his prize. The scammer requested the money from the victim for airfare to Congress, AZ.

The victim sent him $1,000 but the guy never showed up. He later called the victim and demanded more money for the trip. The victim gave another $1,000 and later called YCSO believing he had been scammed.

Deputies listened to the voicemails by the suspects and it appeared "Tony" and "John" were the same person and the calls were coming from Jamaica.

The victim provided receipts for each card purchased for a loss of $13,600.

The victim admitted never entering any contest to win a car or gold.

YCSO reminds people to be alert of any suspicious activity involving seniors in your family or vulnerable adults you care for.

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