Safe from Scams: Lottey Schemes

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Senior citizens are commonly targeted by conmen trying to steal their money in foreign lottery schemes. (KFSN)

Senior citizens are commonly targeted by conmen trying to steal their money in foreign lottery schemes.

"He said that I could win a $1 million and take a trip around the world," fraud victim Beverly Hall said.

Beverly says she immediately began dreaming about giving money to her family and being able to travel again. She trusted the voice on the phone and followed his instructions.

"I went to the bank and I pulled out $3,000 and I made payments at the post office," she explained.

In all, she sent three separate payments via express mail that added up to $7,900.

Then, she got a call from postal inspectors.

Her envelopes full of cash had been intercepted.

"She was upset that she wasn't going to win the money," US Postal Inspector Christopher Lucas said. "She was upset that she had been taken by these scammers, she was upset by the money she sent."

"I think once you turn 70, I think you get, a little more naive, more trusting of people. I just felt, wow, I really made a bad mistake."

Investigators learned the conmen called and left voice mail messages for Beverly. They decided to listen to them together.

Beverly was fortunate her envelopes were recovered. Most victims send money and it is gone forever and matters can become worse.

"They will sell your name, your address, your phone number to another scammer who will try and get even more money from you," Lucas said.

Beverly says she has learned her lesson.

"I just throw these away," she said. "I don't even open them because I could be tempted."

Postal inspectors want to remind consumers that no legitimate lottery will ever ask for taxes or fees upfront.
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