A Cherokee Village woman returned home to find a surprising message on her answering machine. "This is Publishers Clearing House and you are the winner of $250,750,000," the man leaving the message said.
"I looked at my husband and said, 'this is a scam, I'm going to call,'" she said. "I called the number they left on my machine and asked for Frank Brown, like the message told me to."
"I told him I had received the phone call," the Cherokee Village woman said. Brown then asked if he could verify some information. "I thought, here it comes he's going to ask for my Social Security number," the woman said. "He verified my name and he knew my address."
She said Brown then asked her if she would like to receive the money quietly or if she wanted the TV crew. "I said, 'Bring them on. I'm ready!'" the Cherokee Village woman said. "Then, he told me they would be here in half an hour."
The man who called himself Brown then told the woman all she would have to do is have a check for $250 ready when they got there. "I asked them for what and he told me it was for shipping and handling," she said. "'Well you will be at my house, you don't have to send anything,' and he told me it was just for expenses."
The Cherokee Village woman then got clever and asked the man on the phone where he was located. "He told me he was in New York, N.Y.," she said. Little did the man on the other end of the line know this particular Cherokee Village woman was a former New Yorker.
"I asked him the address of where he was and he told me '21st Avenue, New York, N.Y.,'" she said. "'Then you should know where Lincoln Center is,' I said." The Cherokee Village woman explained any New Yorker knows where Lincoln Center is but this man did not.
The woman went on to ask the man what part of New York 21st Avenue is in and she said Brown replied, "downtown." "21st Avenue is downtown but I didn't believe a word he was saying so I said, 'No it isn't,'" she said.
The woman said Brown then scattered saying he made a mistake, it is up-town. The Cherokee Village woman said that is when she confirmed the scam and hung up.
"Had I been thinking I would have told them to come and I would have called the police to meet them here," the woman said.
Convinced this was a scam the Cherokee Village woman called the police and reported the call.
"It is always a good thing to report any kind of scam to the local police," Interim Chief of Police Mayor Lloyd Hefley said.