WESTERLY R.I. (WPRI) — After losing hundreds of dollars in a fraud scheme, a Westerly woman is speaking out in hopes of preventing others from falling victim.

Rosemary Dumas thought she was applying for a federal grant when she was asked to pay money up front in gift cards. The 74-year-old sent around $1,000 worth.

Dumas said her alarm bells didn’t start going off until she asked the person on the other end where the money was.

“Just recently, they said they had sent it and it would be here in 24 hours,” she said.

The person on the other end told Dumas the truck carrying her money was damaged after being stopped by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The person then said she would have to pay for the damage.

That’s when Dumas realized she was swindled. Her message to those responsible: “You ain’t getting another dime.”

Detective Anthony Alicchio told 12 News that Westerly police deal with a lot of people who fall victim to scams. He said someone asking for money through gift cards is a major red flag.

“Once you purchase a gift card at a local store, you’re scratching off a pin number and giving it to that person who is immediately cashing those funds in,” he explained.

Alicchio said when people pay in gift cards, it’s almost impossible to get that money back.

If you or someone you know may have been scammed, contact your local police department.