OCALA, Fla. -

Deputies are investigating after a north Florida 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 pre-paid cards to cover the taxes on the prize.

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