Online lotteries are gaining a lot of traction and people from all over the world can compete in draws that are worth millions of dollars, from the comfort of their home. The downside of this technical progress is that the number of lottery scams has dramatically increased, and the perpetrators are constantly targeting the least informed citizens. Elderly people are their victim of choice and the wrongdoers pray on their trust to steal thousands of dollars.
How the lottery scams work
Despite the fact that the perpetrators have been using the same routine for many years, they somehow still find enough naive victims. They initially inform random people that they have won the jackpot and give them a couple of guidelines about how the money is supposed to be claimed. A subsequent e-mail or phone call asks them to make an upfront payment of a few thousand dollars, so that the lump payment can be released as soon as possible. They don’t forget to mention that if the recipient of the e-mail fails to make a payment on time, the jackpot will be forfeit and someone else will benefit from their good fortune.
Lottery scams are successful in a tiny percentage, but since the perpetrators are playing the long game and flood the Internet with their bogus e-mails, there is always someone falling into their net. Those who make an initial payment is asked for additional money, and some of them keep sending the requested cash until they finally run out of it. By the time they realize that they’ve been the victim of lottery scams, most of them have lost all their life savings and there is nothing to be done to recuperate it.
Real victims teach a powerful lesson
The case of Betty Klassen is not singular but her story should serve as a powerful reminder to all those who believe in something that is obviously too good to be true. She was the victim of such a lottery scam, and she initially sent $5000 hoping that she will receive the 3 million jackpot promised. It was her children who raised the alarm flags and inform the US postal inspector, but unfortunately for their mother they only did it after she was stripped of $5000.
The former teacher didn’t sense the danger and she genuinely believes that she was about to win a lot of money, despite her children advising her again sending the cash. The Postal Service is investigating the case but inspector Michael Roberto says that the number of similar lottery scam cases is on the rise. Many elderly citizens are left broken and with their trust shattered, being even reluctant to answer the phone, afraid of another scam.
Check out the Foreign lottery scams sweep the United States as well.