Smart Strategies to Avoid Becoming a Victim:
Con artists are preying on people with lottery dreams. A retired couple lost thousands when they fell for the scheme.
Mike the mechanic is putting the brakes on scammers who have terrorized his elderly parents.
"Somebody scammed my parents and I need the money now," Mike says in a conversation with the anonymous con man.
The scammer replies: "This is no scam. Trust me."
Promised cash and a car, Bob and Sharon put $2,000 dollars on Green Dot cards that the scammer demanded for prize insurance.
"If you win a legitimate sweepstake, you should not have to put any money up front," says Bob.
The couple - who asked their last name not be used- gave the scammers card code numbers so the money can be picked up anywhere without a trace.
"I wish I would have told somebody so they could help us," says Sharon.
Their son Mike wishes he had known. He didn't know his parents were getting scammed until he came into his shop office and found his mother trying to use the fax machine. The scammers told her not to tell anyone about her "winnings."
But no prize has been delivered, only more calls for money.
"Where's the car?Just tell me where to meet you and I will tell you how long it will take me to get there," Bob says in a conversation with the con man.
After calling the bluff, the calls have stopped. The elderly couple's dream of being lottery winners has been dashed by the reality of money lost.
"I want people to all be careful of what you are doing because we were scammed," says Sharon.