MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - When Marquette resident Pat Torreano received a phone call last week from a man telling her that she had won a Publishers Clearing House prize, she knew something wasn't right.
Pat Torreano is warning others of a possible phone scam.
"He said, 'well, you've won a Mercedes convertible with a year's insurance applied and a year's supply of gas,' and then he said, 'wait for this: you've won $5.5 million,’” Torreano said of the call, which came to her home telephone.
Torreano’s suspicions grew stronger when the stranger said she needed to send him money in order to receive the prize.
"He went on to say 'if you'll only send me a check for $1350 for the $5.5 million to cover taxes and the $790 to cover the taxes on the Mercedes, that will be all we will need,’" she said.
From then on, Torreano knew the call was a scam.
Now, she wants to warn others not to fall for similar calls.
"Be vigilant. Especially if you're in your 70s and 80s, be very vigilant. That's all I can say about it," she said.
Police say that with these calls, there's really no target audience, so anyone can be a victim.
"We see the whole gamut from young to old. It's not necessarily centered on the elderly population or the retired population,” said Marquette Police Department Detective Sgt. Christopher Aldrich.
Aldrich adds that if someone calls you and asks for either personal or financial information, it is probably a scam call.
The best way to handle the situation, Aldrich adds, is by hanging up and reporting the call to local authorities.
"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Listen to your gut instinct and again, be cautious about what type of information you are giving out," Aldrich said.