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Rip-Off Alert: Lottery scams can drain away life savings

(News 3)
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Updated: 7/02 5:16 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- The sheer volume of mail sent to Sheree Nudd’s mother should have been a red flag. On one day, she would receive around 85 pieces of mail -- all scams. Letters supposedly from reader’s digest and the IRS. Offers of cheap jewelry as bait – all of the letters promising big prizes including new cars.

Nudd’s mother, Bette, fell for all of them and wired away her retirement savings.

“We believe she lost somewhere north of $200-thousand dollars – her life savings,” Nudd said. “And they left her with nothing but debt.”

“Seniors in this country are under attack,” said US Postal Inspector Frank Schissler. “Basically, from fraudsters who are operating lottery fraud schemes from outside the country.”

Sheree’s mother is one of millions of victims of lottery scams.

"You know, these criminals have no conscience,” Nudd said. “They’re insidious, they're evil, and they target elderly people because they know they are vulnerable."

The problem continues to grow nationwide, so postal inspectors encourage consumers to go online and check their website to help families protect elderly relatives.

“Postal Inspectors are urging families to get involved as soon as possible. The sooner you get involved, the sooner it can stop,” said Schissler. “Unfortunately these fraudsters are so ruthless and so relentless that they won’t stop until they’ve taken your senior relatives’ last dollar.”

“You will be involved at some point,” Nudd said. “The question is: Do you want to be involved when there is something to preserve so that you can take care of your parents, or do you want to only be involved after everything is gone?”

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