Clearwater Valley News standing

Clearwater Valley

KOOSKIA – Bill Purdy was offered the senior discount to claim his prize winnings: “A million dollars and a car,” he said. “All I had to do was get a card.”

But the Kooskia resident knew it was too good to be true, so he played it along for a while to see where it would obviously lead.

“A scam; that’s what the woman at Walgreens said,” Purdy said.

A resident of Kooskia, and former owner of The Hub in Kamiah, Purdy got a call last week from a man stating he had won a prize for cash and a Mercedes. To claim it, Purdy would have to pay a percentage of the taxes on the cash prize. Purdy was instructed to get a Vanilla Visa gift card at Walgreens in Lewiston where someone would meet him and not take the card but “just stamp it,” as a verification.

“And because I’m a senior citizen, I got a discount and only had to pay 1 percent, and they would pay the rest, and on and on,” Purdy said, laughing, “I was one lucky son of a gun.”

“I said to him, ‘This sounds too good to be true,’ and he said, ‘You can’t deny your eyes when you see the check,’” Purdy said.

Purdy called Walgreens, checked on the matter and was informed this was a scam, as he had suspected. He was also concerned the scam was to get him out of his house so it could be burgled while he was away. He had the scammer’s cell phone number, called him and said he was on his way, and the man said to call him when he arrived at Walgreens.

Purdy’s next call wasn’t what the scammer expected.

“I called him back and said, ‘Today is my lucky day. I found a penny on the ground but it wasn’t heads up so that means I am a loser,’ There was no reply, so I said, ‘Well, it’s a shame that don’t have a real job rather than stealing money from old people.’”

“All of a sudden he was gone. He didn’t like me no more,” Purdy laughed.

Purdy wanted to reach out to the public and warn them about this scam.

“I’d had to see someone get hooked,” he said.

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