It seems to get worse every week. Usually, we just tell you about scams we hear about that are going around. And sometimes, someone loses some money. But an elderly widow from Bangor lost everything, to what she thought was going to be a big payoff from Publisher's Clearing House.

The scammers told her that she just needed to cover the taxes up front, and then they could arrange to get the money to her. That never happened. Over the course of several months, and repeated calls from scammers, Pauline Hopkins of Bangor was taken for $160,000, according to WFVX - TV22.

The people who perpetrate these scams know exactly what they're doing, and who they're targeting.... Often older folks who live alone, and are feeling lonely or otherwise vulnerable. Maybe their spouse just passed away, or maybe they have mental health issues. The scammers don't care at all where the money comes from.

And it's more common than you think. I wrote an article here just a few weeks ago, talking about how just in 2019, there have been fraud/scam thefts totaling over $17 million. Just. This. Year. That's insane. And these folks are such pros, people hardly ever get their money back.

In this case, the woman thought she was dealing with Publisher's Clearing House. They have an entire page on their website, about dealing with scammer pretending to be them. It details things like how they would never reach out to anyone by phone initially, they would never friend request/message anyone via Facebook or social media, and you never have to give them any money to claim a prize.

This poor woman lost everything. And that scary. For her, for her family, and for anyone who might fall prey to such a heartless crime. Hopkins family has reached out to authorities, and they're seeing what, if anything, can be done.

Maybe we should cross all our collective fingers, not just for Pauline Hopkins, but for everybody. The scammers are always looking for the latest way to get you. Whether it's online, over the phone, or by mail. Keep your wits about you, and don't believe everything you're told.

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