Call for Action Investigation: Family loses $29,000 to Jamaican lottery scam

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - There's still time to get your money back if you wired money to scammers over the last decade. One local family lost nearly $30,000 to the Jamaican lottery scam.

Family loses nearly $30,000 to Jamaican lottery scam.

Now, they are hoping to get some of that back through the Western Union refund. 11 News Anchor Katie Pelton spoke with the family in this 11 News Call for Action investigation.

It was a sweepstakes sham that leaves winners defeated.

"It really bothered me," Lois Parham explained to 11 News about her husband receiving calls he had won the lottery. "They just had him going and going. They'd call and call and call."

There's nothing like winning the lottery, but this lottery is one that you don't want to be a part of. Lois' husband lost nearly $30,000 to the Jamaican Lottery scam.

"We started getting these calls from Jamaica," Lois told Katie Pelton. "They told him that he had won all this money and they kept saying well you need to go to Western Union."

The scammers tell victims they have to pay for fees and other expenses in order to get their lottery winnings. For years, her husband wired money to scammers through Western Union.

"They all have Jamaica written at the top of them," said Lois as she was digging through stacks and stacks of receipts pointing out the amount of money that was wired. "$600 and then it cost $36 to send it which made it $636."

She knew her husband had fallen hard for the scam, but it wasn't until after he passed away that she counted up the total, $29,586.

"We did lose our home over it, and my vehicle and our life insurance so that when he passed away three years ago, he had no life insurance," added Lois.

Lois saw the 11 News story about the Western Union refund and reached out to our 11 Call for Action Team. Western Union has been ordered to pay $586 million following an investigation by the FTC, the Department of Justice and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The investigation found Western Union knew scammers were using the service, and didn't stop it.

Katie Pelton showed Lois the website where you can file a claim and she called the number that's listed.

The fraudsters directed the victims to send money through Western Union to help relatives avoid imprisonment or arrest, to claim prizes or receive loans. No one received the cash, product or prizes.

If you wired money to scammers through Western Union between Jan. 1, 2004 and January of this year, you can file a claim. You have until Feb. 12 to do so.

"It makes me really upset that they can do that to people and they don't have a conscious," said Lois as she continues to work on filing a claim.

Click here if you want to to file a claim or learn more information. You can also call the administrator at 1-844-319-2124 to find out more information.