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WNY Seniors Targeted in Lottery Scam

6:31 PM, Sep 24, 2013   |    comments
Graphic By: Vince Fratiani
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BUFFALO, NY-Four Brooklyn men are charged in an international lottery scam whose victims included two elderly Western New York men.

The U.S. Attorney's office says the fraudulent scheme was being operated out of Jamaica.  The suspects are accused of convincing the seniors that they'd won millions of dollars in prize money as well as a Mercedes Benz, in many cases in exchange for fees paid up front.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Fauzia Mattingly said the complaint says the men typically used mail, phone and fax and employed high pressure tactics and threats to coerce the victims to send money.

Among some of the at least ten elderly targeted included an 83-year-old Buffalo man and a 71-year-old Rochester resident.

"We often say if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," said U.S. Attorney William Hochul. "In this case, ten elderly victims were promised millions of dollars and luxury cars in exchange for a fee.  If they did not pay up, they were threatened. If you are approached about participating in a lottery and are asked to submit money, you need to think twice. And if you are ever threatened with legal action or arrest, contact the proper authorities.

The defendants were scheduled to appear on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

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