A Port Chester man who thought he could collect on a $7,000 payout from the U.S. government fell victim to a telephone scam when he wired cash to the Philippines, according to Port Chester Police.
The 27-year-old victim told police on Monday night that he received a phone call at home from a man who identified himself as "Sam Brown," an employee of the federal government. The caller told the victim he could receive $7,000 from the government if he wired a $250 fee to the a person named "Maria Zapia" in the Philippines.
When the victim told the caller he only had $215, the caller accepted the lower amount and instructed the victim on how to wire the money to the Philippines. Police said the victim when to a Port Chester supermarket and followed the caller's instructions.
In another call, "Sam Brown" told the victim that FBI agents were on his way to his home to deliver his $7,000. When no one showed up, police said the victim contacted them to file a complaint.
Police say that once money has been wired to another location — especially another country — there is usually nothing that can be done to retrieve the funds. Police urge residents to be weary of callers who offer prizes, grants, awards or anything else and then ask for a handling fee or for funds to be sent by wire.
Througout the year, scammers have hit Port Chester residents with fraud schemes that included fake lottery prizes, phony Craigslist job ads and fake threats that utility service would be cut unless an immediate payment was received by wire.