Scam artists are at it again.

Broome County Sheriff’s officials say a woman in her 80s was bilked out of $16,000 when she was told she won $2.5 million and a Mercedes Benz from Publisher’s Clearing House but had to pay legal fees and insurance.

Over the course of several days, the woman was directed to send various amounts of money to several locations.  When she ran out of money to send to the telephone number used by the criminal, the number was disconnected and the woman realized she wasn’t going to get any money or car.

Sheriff David Harder says legitimate sweepstakes and awards never contact winners by bulk mail, telephone or email.

Harder says if you get a check in the mail and asked to deposit and send funds to another location, the check is fraudulent.

If you want to check to make sure a company is legitimate, do not use the phone number or contact information on a letter or phone call received.

If you are asked to send money to claim a prize or asked to give a bank account number, driver’s license or social security number, no matter how convincing it sounds, it is a scam.

Any suspicious contact should be reported to local authorities or contact the Broome County Sheriff's Office at (607) 778-2102.