Target 2: Woman Loses Thousands in Shady Sweepstakes - WBAY

Target 2 Consumer Alert

Target 2: Woman Loses Thousands in Shady Sweepstakes

Wisconsin -

It's a heartbreaking situation. A son is sharing the story about how his mother was duped into sending thousands of dollars to someone who promised her millions in return.

Krist says his mother paid out $20,000 to someone who promised her millions of dollars and a new car if she just sent them money in a lottery scheme.

"In the beginning of the scam they couldn't be nicer," says Krist. "They called my mother sweetheart and darling and were so kind. Then when the money didn't arrive, they became increasingly agitated."

But when Krist's mother eventually began sending large amounts of cash by mail, U.S. Postal inspectors spotted the packages.

"I received a call from U.S. Postal inspectors saying they had intercepted two large shipments of cash that had been sent from my mother," Krist said.

Krist broke the news to his mother that she had been duped.

"We closed several bank accounts, changed her home phone and cell phone numbers, and had all of her mail forwarded to our box so she wouldn't be harassed by these people again."

It proved the right thing to do, because several months later the scammers tried to access her bank account.

"Someone had tried to withdraw $20,000 from her account. Fortunately, my wife and I had it closed; they weren't able get to any of the funds."

Krist has good advice for children with older parents:

"As they get older, you need to monitor their mail, you need to monitor their phone, you need to monitor their finances to make sure they aren't in a scam like this."

"Someone would go ahead and call you, and they are very aggressive. In order for you to receive a prize, or to receive cash, usually that's a scam," says Samantha Knoll, U.S. Postal Inspector.

Of the $20,000 Krist's mother sent through the mail, postal inspectors were able to get about half of it back.

We want to know about problems that might put you, your family or neighbors at risk. You can contact us at your story might be our next story.

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