So stopped by my mother's to borrow some tools yesterday.
While I was there she asked me to listen to a message on her answering machine – she is hard of hearing and it was a bit distorted as well.
A woman had left a message stating that mother needed to call back on a financial matter.
Just to be sure, I dialed the number and asked to speak with her. Was passed through another intermediary and then on to a person answering to the name in the message.
I explained why I was calling and she asked to speak with my mother. Handed the phone to my mother and they conversed for a couple of minutes.
Mother had problems understanding the woman and passed the phone back to me. I then spoke to the woman who said she was with the US General Accounting Office and that she merely wished to determine if my mother wanted the $500 USDK check she had won as second prize in a lottery run by US Colonial Sweepstakes. I told her that I would have to check this out due to concerns about identity theft. She understood my concerns and stated that she could be reached at the same number to claim the prize when mother was ready.
There is indeed a website for the lottery company who have apparently been around for 25+ years.
However, no list of current lotteries with my mother's name – would think that they would have been the ones contacting her and that $500 USDK would be worth mentioning with the othe past winners.
Just to be completely certain and to bring it to their attention, I contacted the GAO public affairs office. Their rep thanked me for the contact, confirmed that they do not oversee lottery disbursements, and asked that I pass my information on to their IG who was looking into the scam.
Sadly I think that means mother didn't win $500 USDK (all taxes paid).
Probably should have asked what they wanted from mother just to pass on to the IG. Mother stated she had heard that a local woman had deposited a purported prize check for a couple of thousand and ended up having her account drained – seems like one way for someone to get account info.
P.S. The callback number had a DC area code (202). Apparently quite a few cell phones in that area are being used for scams – seems kind of redundant.