A crook in San Jose, Costa Rica was salivating... thinking easy cash was headed his way.
He spun a whopper of a tale over the phone... promising $350,000 in prize money.
But he didn't know the Simla senior on the other end wasn't buying his sweepstakes story.
On the phone Henry Schuler said, "Man, that's great! Just get me that money!"
The small town of Simla doesn't see too many city slickers... but Henry Schuler heard from one promising big cash once $490 was wired to Costa Rica.
He claimed to be with the Federal Consumer Protection Agency which doesn't exist.
Henry was upset. "We're hard working people. We barely can make a living as it is... and then they want to scam us out of a few dollars."
News of Henry's call spread to Mayor Jerry Allen and Simla Police Chief Jim Leach. The chief called the sweepstakes man pretending to be Henry's son.
The chief said, "$490 is a lot of money for him." "No Jim, your father, he misunderstood. He's not to pay $490, he's to only pay $200."
The man went on for 20 minutes until the chief let him have it.
The chief said, "Let me tell you one thing, you're talking to a police officer okay. And i'm not buying any of this that you're telling me okay." "Uh huh." "This call is already being traced. I've had you on long enough so we'll get to the bottom of this okay?" "Okay, no problem. You have a trace so you come over to my office and I'll show you everything is on the up and up."
Chief Leach would like to catch the con man, but he's out of the country and outside his jurisdiction.
Just remember, you can't win a contest you never entered.
And anytime you're asked to wire money out of the U.S. that's a sure sign a crook's waiting at the other end.
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