Debbie Hill, a postal worker in Florence, South Carolina, has worked at the post office for over 29 years and has seen it all. So when one of her "stamps-only" customers, an elderly woman, started sending out packages to random locations several days in a row this December, Debbie was suspicious. Debbie contacted Thomas Gasser, a U.S. Postal Service inspector, who looked into it. He found that the addresses the elderly woman was sending the packages to were directly tied to a Jamaican lottery scam. With the help of the police, all the money that would have been lost was recovered and returned to the woman. How much? $45,000!
It was very fortunate that Debbie, who received a letter of commendation from the postmaster general, spotted the scam but how many letters and packages are not caught?! It is estimated that several thousands of people are scammed out of many millions of dollars every year. In 2014 alone, postal inspectors saved people a lot of money by seizing and destroying nearly two million letters and packages sent to lottery scammers. But too many get through the cracks.
What else can be done? If you receive a letter or phone call about winning a lottery, DO NOT SEND ANY MONEY! It is most likely a scam! Report it to the post office, FTC (Federal Trade Commission) or someone you know who can help determine if it is a scam! Many times an older son or daughter can be very helpful. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true... it probably is! The chances of your "winnings" being a scam is way over 99%!
If you are a concerned loved one, keep a lookout for "You're a Winner" letters or packages and for any odd behavior. Also ask about any odd phone calls that your loved one might have received. You could, potentially, be saving them a lot of money... and a lot of heartache!