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CALL FOR ACTION ALERT: Colorado woman loses $74,000 to a lottery scam and has a warning for others

A European lottery scam cost a Colorado Springs woman nearly $75,000.  This is the piece of mail that tricked her into thinking she won $5 million. Photo taken by KKTV on July 24, 2019.
A European lottery scam cost a Colorado Springs woman nearly $75,000. This is the piece of mail that tricked her into thinking she won $5 million. Photo taken by KKTV on July 24, 2019.(KKTV)
Published: Jul. 24, 2019 at 8:40 PM MDT
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An elderly woman is out $74,000 from a major scam. It's one of the biggest losses that we have told you about. It's all because she thought she won the lottery.

In our 11 Call for Action Alert, Katie Pelton sat down with that woman and with detectives to make sure this doesn't happen to you.

"It's terrible,” Virginia explained. “It's bad. I feel miserable."

Virginia is out $74,000 after getting a letter in the mail last fall saying she won the European lottery.

"Altogether $74,500 and I really want everybody to know that these letters are a scam and they can cheat anybody and they are cruel people," Virginia pleaded.

She called the number listed and a man told her she won $5,000,000.

But the guy told her she needed to help transfer some money in order to get her winnings.

“He'd send me a check, I’d put it in my account and then after that check has been cashed, he was telling me, send it to another person."

The person said that she needed to pay some fees.

“I was trusting 100 percent," Virginia said. "I said this is nothing for $5 million for that money."

Katie asked just how many checks Virginia wrote.

"Many of them," was all Virginia could respond.

Virginia finally found out it was a scam when a bank teller asked what she was doing with all the money she was taking out.

“The bank said, 'how come lately you are getting all your CDs [Certificate of Deposit] and everything?' Then I said, 'this one. This is it…' They said, 'it's a scam. Don't ever pay anything,' Virginia recalled.

"If you haven't played the lottery, then you haven't won the lottery," Sgt. Joe Matiatos with the Colorado Springs Police stated.

Detectives with CSPD’s financial crimes department tell Katie, unfortunately it's nearly impossible to trace down the scammers because they are typically overseas.

“There's really not anything we can do,” Sgt. Matiatos added. “The best that we can do is what we're doing now, trying to educate people."

If you're ever wondering if you're dealing with a scam, give our Call for Action volunteers a call at 719-457-8211. They are available Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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