A man posing as a representative from Publishers Clearing House told an 82-year-old woman she won a $2.5 million sweepstakes over the phone around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The suspect told the victim she had to send $9,500 to a specific address before she could collect her prize, Bloomington Police Department Lt. John Kovach said. The suspect instructed her to stay on the phone and not tell anyone about the interaction, not even the bank where she withdrew the money.
Kovach said the victim followed the man's instructions and placed $9,500 in cash into a white envelope inside a larger brown envelope before mailing.
The suspect told the victim to send the package to an address outside of Bloomington, and she sent it, Kovach said. The suspect called the victim to say he had told her the wrong address and gave her a new address.
The victim called FedEx with the intention of directing her package to the correct address. A FedEx employee told her she had been scammed and should not continue shipping the package. She then called the police Thursday.
The package will be returned to her, Kovach said. The investigation is inactive.