BAR HARBOR, Maine — A local woman has fallen victim to a scam and now is out more than $64,000, according to police.
Sgt. David Kerns of the Bar Harbor Police Department said Thursday that the victim recently sent money to addresses in southern Florida, Philadelphia, and possibly other locations after receiving phone calls from someone who told her she had won $2 million in a lottery or sweepstakes.
Kerns said it is unknown where the phone calls came from.
The case is still under investigation, he said.
A relative of the woman, who is 77 years old, called police last week to report the scam. The identity of the woman, who lives by herself, is not being disclosed because she is a victim in the case.
The woman was told she had to send money in order to receive her winnings, according to Kerns. She ended up sending several installments of cash via a package shipping and delivery service to various addresses, one of which is in West Hollywood, Fla., a Miami suburb. The total amount of money the woman sent, Kerns said, is $64,405.
Kerns said local police have contacted law enforcement officials in Florida and Philadelphia and are hoping to find out who may have picked up the money. Recovering the funds or finding out who may be responsible is expected to be difficult, he added, as cash is not easy to trace and law enforcement officials in the Philadelphia and Miami areas likely have higher-priority cases to pursue.
Kerns said the best way to avoid such situations is for people to recognize scams before they get drawn into them.
“Know who you are sending money to,” Kerns said. “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.