CHATTAROY, Wash. - A man desperate to pay off his debt spent several hundred dollars on iTunes gift cards, in exchange for what he thought would be $10,000 from the government.
Dwayne Lucas says the last few years have not been easy for him.
“I went blind in 2007. I had cataract surgery and lost my eyesight. Then two years later I got crushed by a truck,” he said.
He's been on disability and only recently began to enter back in to the workforce. In the time away from a steady paycheck, he accrued some debt and last week thought he finally the light at the end of the tunnel.
“They told me this was a one time grant from the government; you don’t 'have to pay it back. There is no loans,” explained Lucas.
The caller posing as a government employee said he was entitled to ten thousand dollars. All he'd have to is buy two $100 iTunes gift cards. He immediately he started thinking about paying off his motor home, his car and fixing the roof in his home.
He ran to Walmart, purchased the cards and gave the codes on the back to the woman on the other end of the phone.
He then was instructed to call another person to get the money . That's where he got suspicious.
“She told me that with my state they wanted a transaction fee and that would cost another $800,” he said.
He talked to his coworkers who contacted the Better Business Bureau and found out it was all a scam.
The Stanford Center on Longevity says Lucas fits the bill for someone who would fall victim to a scam; a white male, middle-aged and under financial pressure.
“It put me in a really bad spot.,” he said.
By sharing his story, he hopes he can help someone do what he should have done in the first place.
“Get a second opinion before you do anything,” said Lucas. “Whether its from your family, your friends, your coworker like in my case. Get a second opinion before you do anything.”
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