Elderly couple conned out of US$6,000 in lottery scam

A scam artist routing his calls through Jamaica convinced a rural Grand Rapids couple to hand over more than $6,000 before a post office worker became suspicious and called police.

A report in the Duluth News Tribune said despite the warning the couple ignored pleas from Itasca County Sheriff Pat Medure and tried to send an additional $4,500 to the scammer in recent days.

The elderly couple received a call recently that they had won US$25 million and a new Mercedes car in a lottery, but that they had to pay several fees before they could collect their prizes.

The first few calls from the scammer asked for smaller amounts of money, less than $250. He later increased the demands to $1,500, $2,500 and $3,000.

The couple sent money, nine times in cash and money orders, to addresses in Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania before the postal worker in Grand Rapids became suspicious.

The scammer called the couple, in their 80s and 90s, eight times Thursday and six more times Friday morning.

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