Scammers sink to new lows

By Nikki Kimbleton, The Morning Show anchor, consumer reporter, nkimbleton@wjxt.com
Published On: Jul 28 2014 10:44:34 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 29 2014 06:30:00 AM EDT

The phone rings and the caller tells you you've won millions, but the most vulnerable don't realize the scheme. The caller intends to wipe out your savings.

Jean Adams fell for it.

"They are really good," she said. "It was so believeable. Now I would know better."

Adams has learned her lesson, but it was a costly one.

"It was a $4 million sweepstakes. They needed so much money because the vaults would not open until they had the very final payment," she said.

That's why Adams sent the small payment, and then additional payments. Finally, she realized she had sent thousands of dollars.

"They always wanted you to send cash or something that, I guess, that could not be traced," Adams said.

After months of payments, Adams became suspicious and decided to stop answering the phone. But the calls didn't stop.

"They were very relentless, sometimes in the night always in the same time. And this went on for months, months, months," Adams said.

The scam artists became so desperate they even sent a taxi cab driver and a food delivery van to her home.

"They couldn't reach me and were trying to find out, am I still here?" Adams said.

Scott Barber is a U.S. postal inspector. He talked about why this happens.

"If they lose contact with them, they are going to go through any means to establish that contact. So to them there is no limit on that. As long as they can get those people to send them money, they will continue to go back to that same individual," Barber said.

Postal inspectors say some con men go as far as using police to help them.

"They would contact the local authorities and say they are family member," Barber said.

Then they ask police to see if their victims are still in the same location. Elderly are the most common target of these foreign lottery scams and they are losing millions of dollars a year.

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