Sacto 9-1-1
March 26, 2010
Sac PD: Man arrested in 'big winners' scam

By Bill Lindelof
blindelof@sacbee.com

Sacramento police have arrested a man for allegedly using a common scam in which the victim is told they are big winners, according to a Police Department news release.

zachary.JPGJoe Zachary (photo left), 55, of Sacramento was arrested on suspicion of theft from an elderly person and obtaining money under false pretenses, police said.

The release gave this chain of events:

In January a woman received a call from a man telling her she had won money. However, the caller said, she would have to send money for taxes and fees before she could collect her winnings.

The victim complied more than once to the stranger's demands for money to be wired to an account.

Thousands of dollars and a few months later the woman still did not have her winnings. The Police Department was notified.

Zachary was arrested, even though caution it is typically difficult to find suspects in this type of scam, the release states.

The victim was able to provide enough information about the suspect in this case for police to make an arrest, the release states.

Every effort should be made by a citizen to validate information from a caller, police said. And, they caution, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is a scam.

Police ask anyone with information about the scam to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357.

Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

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