Scam targets seniors

A scam in which a man calls up and gets people to send him money to enter a lottery has hit several local seniors.

A scam in which a man calls up and gets people to send him money to enter a lottery has hit several local seniors.

At least one local senior has sent more than $1,000 in cash by mail every month for the past few months to the address in Salt Lake City, Utah until noticed by the manager of the Shoppers Drug Mart post office.

Linda Nelson said another three or four seniors, that she knows of, have sent money, sometimes in express packages so it gets to its destination quicker.

“When I see stuff like that, I warn them because part of my job is to protect them,” she said.

“They really think it’s a legitimate lottery.”

The woman who had sent money several times said the man who had called her told her he administered the lottery.

Nelson said she called the local RCMP, who told her the police don’t deal with fraud and to call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

She called several times and kept getting voice mail that would say staff was in a meeting or was having technical difficulties.

At the end of last week, she still had not been able to get through to the anti-fraud centre.

“Lottery scam is a well-known one,” said Terrace RCMP Const. Angela Rabut, media relations and community policing officer.

“The RCMP does continue to investigate frauds and scams.”

Nelson said a lot of seniors put cash in an envelope and pop it in the mail slot and she can’t catch if they’re mailing money to a phoney lottery.

“There’s only so much you can do,” said Nelson.

The anti-fraud centre’s online tips to avoid getting caught up in a lottery scam include: “you cannot win without first buying a lottery ticket” and “They (a legitimate lottery) will never ask a winner to pay any fees up front, like taxes or a security deposit, to receive a prize, lottery or sweepstake.”