Mark Robertson

Mark Robertson

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Scammers Reportedly Tricked Woman Out Of $400,000

Florida scammers tricked a woman into thinking she had won $3 million and then stole $400,000 from her bank account.

Police arrested Michael Lawrence and Max Richards in connection to the scam but could only recover around $40,000 of the money. Lawrence and Richards face felony charges of first-degree theft and scheme to defraud, according to court records.

Sheriff Grady Judd, is known online for his boisterous press conferences, during which he shares information about the people the Polk County Sheriff's Office arrests.

During Friday's press conference, Judd said the scammers targeted an older woman with early signs of dementia. They told her she won $3 million in a Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes and that she needed to pay them taxes, Judd said.

By the end, Judd said she had sent Lawrence and Richards $477,000 in three separate checks.

The Federal Trade Commission says the best way to spot a sweepstakes scam is to look at what the party offering the money asks you to do next. The agency says that if they try to get you to hand over money or send them your account information, it's likely a scam.

black woman holding vibrant blue wallet with multiple $1 u.s. paper bills showing while sitting at desk at home

Photo: Catherine McQueen / Moment / Getty Images

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