OCALA, Fla. - Deputies are investigating after an Ocala woman was bilked out of $12,400 after being told she had won a Mercedes-Benz.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office says she received a letter from Direct Transient Centers in April, informing the 83-year-old she needed to pay a fee to get the car shipped to her.

The Ocala Star-Banner reports that about the same time, a man called her and said she'd won a sweepstakes consisting of a car and $60,000 in cash. He warned her not to tell anyone out of fear they might try to "rob" her.

Over the next two months, deputies say the woman purchased prepaid cards to cover the taxes on the prize.

After sending the the cash, she never received the prize and called authorities.