FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --The lure of big money can be intoxicating. "I was pretty rocked back because I just, we never thought that anybody you know, everybody we talked to in the law enforcement said 'You know, I know, this stuff goes on all the time, there's just nothing, you know, it's so untraceable'," said Kimberly Routon, fraud victim's family
Kimberly felt utterly helpless after learning her now deceased in-law's, Marilyn and Don, had lost their life savings in a Jamaican lottery sweepstakes scam. Marilyn had been asking people for money. She had even gone through the church directory.
The first clue that something was wrong: "She got a cell phone and didn't even give us the number? You know, so that's when we knew for sure that that's, That was the tool," said Kimberly.
They also noticed piles of mail and decided to call the couple's bank for an update. "Your mom was just in here. She just took out $2,400. She's heading out, a gentleman is driving her in an, I don't know, whatever car, he has a white ball cap on and I know they're heading right over to the grocery store," said Kimberly.
To put the money on a green card that allowed them to send the cash to the scam artists. The couple thought they were paying the taxes needed to receive their lottery winnings.
Kimberly and her husband sat their parents down and told them there was no jackpot and that they were caught in a scam. But the couple continued to send money. "Really these people still have a hold of you. After all the people that you've loved have sat down with you and told you it's not ever going to happen."
Remember no legitimate lottery will ever ask for money up front.