Scam Alert: Eastern Iowa Couple Receives False Call About Powerball Winnings

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WINTHROP, Iowa  --  An eastern Iowa couple received a call saying they won millions of dollars playing the lottery, but would have to pay in order to have the money sent to them.

This was just one of the red flags that caught their attention, and KWWL's Taylor Bailey talked to the couple to see what other signs of a scam to look out for.

After receiving the call from a man saying, "Congratulations, you won the Mega Million Powerball," Phil Short said he knew the claim could not be true.

"He was very insistent that I had won, or she had won, and we just kept saying, 'how could we possibly have won, how could you know before we knew?'" he said.

The couple says they were out of state for a few days.

"We were away from home for a couple of days and I had no idea that that even went out and this guy was telling me we had won it, so we knew that was impossible because you've gotta be here to buy a ticket for it," said Phil.

The Shorts also never bought a Powerball ticket, and they explained that to the unknown caller.

"I think this is a scam, and he says, 'no, no, this is legit,'" said Phil.

Another red flag was the charge to collect the winnings.

"There will be a charge for shipping and handling etc., etc. I said, 'that's what I thought,' and I hung up."

The Shorts only answered the unknown call because they were waiting on a call from a relative.

"That was kind of the phone call she was hoping for, instead of some thief," said Phil.

A thief attempting to scam people out of any money they can.

"How crooked these people are and how they scam not just young people, and older people they really take advantage of, and I hate to see that happen."

Phil also offered a tip for people who may find themselves in a similar situation: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

A Cedar Rapids man actually won the Mega Millions prize last week.