RALEIGH, N.C. — The sheer volume of mail sent to Sheree Nudd’s mother should have been a red flag.
Sheree showed WTVD-TV a day’s worth of mail that her mom had received. She said that one day she counted 85 pieces of mail.
All of them were scams, letters supposedly from Reader’s Digest and the IRS. Offers of cheap jewelry were used as bait and all promised big prizes including new cars.
Nudd’s mother, Bette, fell for all of them and wired away her retirement savings.
“We believe she lost somewhere north of $200,000 dollars – her life savings. And they left her with nothing but debt,” Sheree said.
Frank Schissler, a U.S. Postal Inspector, said, “Seniors in this country are under attack from fraudsters who are operating lottery fraud schemes from outside the country.”
Sheree’s mother is one of the millions of victims of lottery scams.
“You know, these criminals have no conscience, they’re insidious, they’re evil, and they target elderly people because they know they are vulnerable,” Sheree said.
The problem continues to grow nationwide.
Postal Inspectors are encouraging consumers to go online and check out their websitewww.deliveringtrust.com to help families protect elderly relatives.
The new website from U.S. Postal Service provides tips on how families can spot signs that their loved one has fallen victim to mail fraud and some ways to stop it.
“Postal Inspectors are urging families to get involved as soon as possible. The sooner you get involved, the sooner it can stop,” Frank said.
“Unfortunately, these fraudsters are so ruthless and so relentless that they won’t stop until they’ve taken your senior relatives’ last dollar,” he explained.
Sheree warns, “You will be involved at some point.”
“The question is whether you want to be involved when there is something to preserve so that you can take care of your parents, or do you want to only be involved after everything is gone?” she said.