20 Apr 2010

Lottery scams con New Plymouth elderly

1:43 pm on 20 April 2010

A small bookshop and postal agency in suburban New Plymouth says many older customers are being conned by international lottery scams.

One elderly woman received 63 letters offering prize money in one day, and the manager of the Moturoa Book and Gift Shop, Bev Carley, says more and more locals are being drawn into the scams.

Mrs Carley says 40 to 50 customers a week are now sending money back to postal fraudsters - some up to two or three times a week.

The scammers send letters promising the chance to win millions of dollars if they first pay an entry fee - usually about $50.

Mrs Carley says staff spend many hours explaining to customers that the letters are a scam but many want to believe they can strike it rich.

Ella Greentree, who is 91, has been taking part for over 10 years and at best only received trinket jewellery in return.

She says after losing hundreds of dollars she now realises she's been conned.