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Yakima residents lose money in sweepstakes phone scam

YAKIMA, Wash. - Police are warning of a phone scam in the area that targets the elderly after two Yakima-area residents have lost thousands of dollars.

Yakima Police Department (YPD) said two people reported sweepstakes scams in the week of March 8, 2017.

An 87-year-old man lost $9,000 and another man lost $5,000.

The scammer told victims over the phone that they won a sweepstakes and instructed them to pay the taxes up front according to police reports.

YPD wants to caution Yakima residents that sweepstakes would not ask for money before distributing the prize, and if the caller is asking for handling charges, services fees or taxes then it is likely a scam.

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