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RIP-OFF ALERT: Scammers prey on elderly widow

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 1/08 2:25 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The voices on the phone were friendly and persistent and they convinced an elderly widow to part with tens of thousands of dollars.

For those who have aging parents, you'll find this one incredibly painful, as it targeted a widow.

“She received a phone call saying she won $2.5 million dollars and she had to pay the sales tax on it,” said Michelle Lauciello about her mother, who lost more than $100,000 in a lottery sweepstakes scam.

“I feel like if they can get her – they can get anyone. It’s just awful that they are so persistent, evil, cruel that they can take that much money from a widow,” Lauciello said.

They” are con-artists in Jamaica, who convinced Lauciello’s mother to send the money to get her winnings.

“She was sending $500 increments,” she said.

Lauciello says the voices on the phone were very persuasive and preyed on the fact that their mother was a widow.

“It happened after my father died, and we think that is how she got caught up in this big mess because she was filling a void that in her life,” Lauciello said.

The family repeatedly warned their mother that this was a scam but she continued sending money.

“They were brainwashing her basically, is what they were doing,” Lauciello said.

Lauciello’s family was forced to take over their mother’s finances.

“It was heart wrenching, it was aggravating that she would believe this… that she would believe that you could win money but you have to pay money we told her over and over and never again we would keep telling her that you win something you don’t have to pay,” Lauciello said.

Foreign lottery schemes may be fleecing Americans’ out of as much as a billion dollars every year…and its getting worse.

“The fraudsters are relentless even ruthless they won’t stop until seniors have no more money to send and then they will recruit them to get money from other seniors,” said Frank Schissler, U.S. Postal Inspector.

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