Columbus woman shares story of being scammed out of $1K+

Updated: Feb. 22, 2020 at 7:47 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Officials from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in Columbus have received weekly phone calls from victims of scams.

One of their most recent calls was from a Columbus woman who lost $1,200 to a scammer earlier this month. While researching for assistance in paying for dental implants, she came across what she thought was a grant that would pay for it. After she applied online, she received a call within an hour, telling her she qualified.

“He said I qualified for a $13,000 grant. And he said I don’t have to pay it back and that they would give me $2,000 in cash through Western Union, and they would send the other part in check,” said Patricia Watford.

The person on the other end of the phone call told Watford she needed to pay certain fees to receive the grant. She ended up sending him $1,200 that she hasn’t gotten back.

"He kept telling me that I had to pay the government this part and the IRS $400 more dollars, " said Watford.

According to the BBB, people fall victim to this type of scam often. Some other scams popular in the Chattahoochee Valley are the “publishing clearing house” scam. This is where people receive a call stating they won money from the organization and they have to send them money in order to claim the winnings.

Other popular scams in the area are the work from home scam and the romance scam. A dispute resolution counselor from the BBB said people should contact the BBB if they feel they’ve been scammed.

“Give us a call," said Mallory Vergara. "Let us double check it. If you’re not too sure, or you’ve already got your foot already in there, still give us a call so we can help you out. I mean, we hate for anyone to lose money, to get scammed.”

For more tips on how to protect yourself from scams, you can contact the BBB in Columbus, or call them (706) 324-0712.

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