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Rip-Off Alert: Disconnect from sweepstakes phone pitches

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 12/06/2012 5:52 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- The next time someone calls promising you millions if you just send him a few thousand dollars, hang up the phone.

This is the story of one woman who fell for this scam and paid a hefty price in this Rip-Off Alert.

Krist says his mother paid out $20,000 to scam artists who promised her millions of dollars and a new car if she just sent them money in a lottery scam.

"My mother was very embarrassed. She is a proud woman and can't believe she was scammed like this" he said. "In the beginning of the scam they couldn't be nicer. They called my mother sweetheart and darling and were so kind. Then when the money didn't arrive they became increasingly agitated."

But when Krist's mother eventually began sending large amounts of cash by mail, U.S. postal inspectors spotted the packages.

"They were very persistent in calling her and wanting her to send money," said U.S. Postal Inspector Samantha Knoll.

"I received a call from U.S. postal inspectors saying they had intercepted two large shipments of cash that had been sent from my mother,” Krist said.

Krist broke the news to his mother: She had been duped.

"We closed several bank accounts, changed her home phone and cell phone numbers and had all of her mail forwarded to our box so she wouldn't be harassed by these people again," Krist said.

It was the smart thing to do after what happened a few months later.

Someone had tried to withdraw $20,000 from her account,” Krist said. “Fortunately, my wife and I had closed they weren't able get to any of the funds."

Krist has good advice for children with older parents.

"As they get older, you need to monitor their mail, you need to monitor their phone, you need to monitor their finances to make sure they aren't in a scam like this," he said.

Of the $20,000 Krist's mother sent through the mail at varying times, postal inspectors were able to retrieve about half of it.
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