Foreign lottery schemes getting harder to fight
Scammers are ruthless and becoming harder to fight.
Marcia and Cha are frustrated and feel helpless. Their 88-year-old mother, Elizabeth, has already lost thousands of dollars in foreign lottery schemes. The worst part is she won`t stop.
“She is convinced she is going to get a car and $30 million, and she will always ask, ‘What kind of car do you want?” says Marcia Jones, the victim’s daughter.
“In a week’s time, on Saturday I`m getting $25 million, on Monday I`m getting $12 million from a different source and I say, ‘I hope you do mom,’” says Cha Roberts, the victim’s daughter.
“If you go to her house today, and it`s very depressing to me because there is nothing, you can`t see her table, for her mail it`s in the dining room and family room, it`s everywhere,” says Jones.
These sisters have tried everything. In fact, they wrote the postmaster general asking for help.
Their plea prompted a postal inspector and local police officer to come to their mother`s home to explain the scams.
“She was very, very angry with us that we ‘turned her in,” says Jones daughter.
Despite the best efforts by authorities, Elizabeth still believes her big pay day is imminent.
“Unfortunately, she was a true believer in the fraudsters, and they had befriended her and thought she won something. We were unable to convince her she had been scammed,” says Frank Schissler, US Postal Inspector.
The sisters are at a loss.
“You trust strangers, but you don`t trust your family and authorities who are telling you from their experience, that people like you are being scammed,” says Roberts.
“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,” says Schissler.
Elizabeth`s daughters just received legal guardianship of their mother so they can monitor her finances.
But they really just hope to get through to her.
Elizabeth`s sisters initially asked if all of the foreign lottery mail could simply stop being delivered to their mother`s home.
But the federal government is not allowed to interfere with the delivery of U.S. mail unless authorities believe it could be harmful.