A new Scam has appeared. A local elderly widow was contacted by phone and informed that she had won a prize in the “Mega Millions” lottery, although she had not purchased a ticket. The smooth talking caller informed her that such was not necessary and that he had $250,000 to be delivered to her, once she paid a relatively small amount of Federal taxes; more than $10,000. She exhausted her retirement funds and had funds wired to the caller. Of course, no money was ever received and the widow is not only out the several thousands of dollars she sent the caller but also is now the object of many other calls from persons with substantial foreign accents, again informing her that she “had won” substantial sums. She is both extremely embarrassed by her naivete and her willingness to trust an unseen person who she thought of “as a friend,” and distressed that she will likely never be able to recover the money that she sent to her “friend.”
Unfortunately I am afraid that she is not alone. With all of the media praise for the Mega Millions program, as well as other “jackpots,” it is not unexpected that criminal elements have found the opportunity to prey upon unsophisticated and vulnerable elderly . using both the telephone and the internet to snare their victims and doing so from untraceable locations.