McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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April 7, 2014

Local woman scammed this morning for $750

McALESTER — Debra Williams, 53, of McAlester, said she was scammed Monday morning for the sum of $750.

She said she was called early and the scammers continued to call her multiple times throughout the morning to make the issue sound as if it was a matter of urgency, she said.

She said the callers claimed to be representatives of the Publisher’s Clearinghouse.

“I’ve participated in the Publisher’s Clearinghouse for years and you see it on TV all the time,” Williams said. She said she should have known better but she is familiar with  Publisher’s Clearinghouse.

“It sounded like the same sweepstakes as advertised where you win $950,000 and they pay you $5,000 a week afterward,” she said.

She said one of the scammers asked her to buy prepaid money cards from a local retail store; the person stayed on the phone as she went into the store. After she purchased the cards, she relayed the numbers and information directly from the money cards to the person over the phone.

It was when that someone called her back asking for another $350 for federal taxes in order for her to claim the first $5,000 that she started to become suspicious. She said she called Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and said they told her there was nothing they could do. She said they advised her to call the McAlester News-Capital to help make people aware there could be others in the area who were targeted.

She said those who called specifically asked for Green Dot MoneyPak cards and advised her, for her safety, not to tell anyone in the store what the cards were for.

Williams said she has a fixed income and overdrew her bank account thinking that a large sum would immediately be deposited back into it.

“I don’t know how I am going to come up with all this money to pay my bank back,” she said. “My check goes directly into my account, so all of the check will be gone once it hits the bank.

“How am I going to pay my rent, my bills?”

“I am raising my grandchild. I have no idea what we are going to do.”

Contact MJ Brickey by email at

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