(AP) — Two Cook County residents have lost tens of thousands of dollars to a scam in which they were promised lottery winnings even though they didn’t buy a ticket.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is warning residents not to fall for the trick.
Dart’s office explained Wednesday that the scammers contact potential victims by telephone, fax, email and letter, telling them they’ve won a lottery jackpot. Before they can collect their supposed winnings, they’re asked to send money to a foreign address to cover the cost of taxes and handling fees. Those behind the scheme appear to be targeting senior citizens.
During the past six months, one victim lost $90,000 and another $82,000. Both are from Chicago’s south suburbs.
Dart’s office says it has received numerous calls about the scam.