Lottery scam targets elderly

Lottery scam targets elderly »Play Video
BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Everything is different for this 84 year-old widow and retired nurse who spent her life helping others now, Doris Gelinas is the one in need.

"They called and said I won a big prize from the Mega Millions and there were two cars - a new Mercedes," fraud victim, Doris Gelinas said.

Euphoria quickly turned to frustration when she heard about a 'catch'.

"Taxes. You have to pay for the taxes… the state taxes… it never stopped," fraud victim, Doris Gelinas said.

Doris began making payments but realized she needed more money.

"They actually convinced her to go and refinance her house and come up with a large source of money so she refinanced her home at their advice and took out $151-thousand dollars," postal inspector, Michael Gendron , said.

Dorothy made frequent trips to the post office to send her payments, which caught the attention of postal clerks.

"We were concerned for her coming in so often mailing via Express" Daniel Stewart, a postal worker, said.

They asked Dorothy point blank if she was caught up in a scam.

"I believe every clerk who dealt with her tried to explain we didn't feel it was right or something wasn't right about it but she said she was ok," postal clerk, Daniel Stewart said.

The clerks decided to notify postal inspectors about Doris.

"They have absolutely no mercy when it comes to exploiting our senior citizens. So the best thing we can possibly do is talk about it… so that everybody knows how the schemes operate." postal inspector, Michael Gendron , said.

Dorothy lost a staggering $100,000 dollars to foreign lottery thieves.

"I thought I was too smart for that - but there's nobody that smart."

Here's something important to remember. no legitimate lottery will ask for money upfront if you've won. if you get a call or a letter saying you've won a lottery and have to pay taxes to collect your winning, you can call or contact your local postal inspector via uspis.gov.