An elderly Darien man, 87, wired $110 to a scammer who called the man to tell him he’d won $2.5 million in a lottery or contest, but the money was needed to process the payout, Darien police said.
Police gave this account of the matter:
On Monday, Feb. 8, the Darien man got the phone call from a man who identified himself as “Daniel White.” The victim didn’t remember what the caller told him he’d done to win the money, but wrote down the instructions he was given to wire the money: Essentially, go to Walmart in Norwalk and wire the money to a “Charlotte Broughton” at another Walmart store in Texas.
The man did so, and when he arrived back home, called his daughter to tell her the good news. The daughter told him to call police.
The victim had a receipt for the transaction, but that’s all he ever got.
A police officer tried calling the number of the man who called the victim, and the call was picked up by someone who didn’t give his name and answered as if the call had come to a personal, not business phone number.
Initially, the police officer only identified himself as someone who was trying to help the victim claim his winnings, and the man at the other end of the line said he worked for “Winners National” which is associated with the Nebraska state lottery. He said the victim won a prize through a company called “Everstate.”
The police officer later looked up “Winners National” and found there were numerous complaints against it. The officer couldn’t find any information about a business called “Everstate
The man gave the police officer a business address of 7812 F St., Omaha, Nebr. for Everstate. That turned out to be the location of Starsky’s Bar & Grill.
Once the police officer identified himself as an officer investigating a possible crime, the man insisted everything was legitimate. The $110 was for shipping and handling the rewards, he said. He added that the Darien man not only won $2.5 million, but a Mercedes Benz, although on further questioning, he didn’t know which model. He said Charlotte Broughton was an employee, but wouldn’t provide further information about her.
He also said he is a Christian man and wouldn’t take advantage of anyone.
“Any time you’re asked to wire any money, it should be a red flag” and you should be immediately suspicious, said Sgt. Jeremiah Marron Jr. of the Darien Police detective bureau.