Alleged scammer bullies victims

Alleged scammer bullies victims »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Over the past several years, Eyewitness News has warned viewers about countless scams trying get you to hand over your hard earned money.

One woman contacted us recently, saying a scammer went too far.

Scams come in all forms - email, text message, letter and phone call. This one in particular came over the phone, and it's what one alleged scammer left behind that's made one woman very upset.

These days when people hear words like lucky winner, you get suspicious. Earlier this month James and Frankie Lackey got a call from a man claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House and Walmart. The man offered to give them prizes and money if they paid a small shipping and handling fee of $300.

The Lackeys weren't fooled.

"Needless to say we were not going down that road, and I told him not to call again," said James Lackey. But the calls kept coming and the Lackeys say the alleged scammer turned into a bully, leaving downright rude voice mail messages.

In phone messages, you can hear the alleged scammer telling Lackey that he was "a piece of (expletive)” and that he wished Mr. Lackey would "die right now."

The man's comments added insult to injury to the Lackeys, because James Lackey is very ill.

"I had just almost lost him twice and this guy just had this nerve!" said Frankie Lackey.

The alleged scammer also had the nerve to leave his number. Eyewitness News called that number to see if we could learn more about what he had to offer. He used several more expletives while on the phone with us, then swore he worked for PCH and Walmart and even gave us a disconnected number he claimed was for his supervisors.

Walmart's corporate office told us on Wednesday that they are not affiliated with Publishers Clearing House and suggested this case be reported to the Federal Trade Commission.

The Lackeys are moving on from this incident but are worried about others falling for this scam. Frankie Lackey said the way the man used information, like her home address, could fool people into giving away their hard earned money.

"He'd asked if I had charged anything at Walmart, which I think most of us have, and that because I had used my charge card at Walmart that my name was put in a drawing," explained Frankie Lackey.

Walmart also said it works with the FTC to fight these scams. But there are more popping up every day, and police say that that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. To report a scam you can call 877-FTC-HELP.