UK & World News

  • 10 February 2014, 16:56

Photo Of Danny Alexander Used In US Scam

A photo of Danny Alexander, the Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has been used in a phone scam that tricked a woman in Kentucky into giving money away.

Francis Rains said she received a phone call in September from a man telling her she had won a lottery.

"He said I'd won $2.5m and a Mercedes-Benz," Ms Rains, in Whitley County, told local station WKYT.

She said the same man called back a few days later to say that he needed some money.

The man appeared to be calling from a Jamaican number.

He said his name was Tony and, to prove he was legitimate, he sent what he said was a picture of himself.

In fact, it was a photo of Mr Alexander.

The man on the phone told Ms Rains he needed her money to pay off the taxes on the prizes before she could receive anything.

Ms Rains said two other men claiming to be FBI personnel and a lawyer also called her to talk about the prize.

"I sent some money. Being a dummy, but I sent it," Ms Rains said. She has not disclosed how much cash she ended up losing.

Police said such scams are difficult to investigate because most calls come from outside the US.

They recommend never sending any money or providing personal information such as back account details in similar situations.

The real Danny Alexander told Sky News: "I deplore these scams and my heart goes out to the lady who has lost her money.

"I wish the US enforcement agencies well in bringing the perpetrators to justice."

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