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Texas Couple Loses $14,000 In Lottery Scam

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: Texas Couple Loses $14,000 In Lottery Scam

The Upshur County Sheriff's Department is the last place Thomas McRee, 77, expected to be Monday morning after Christmas.  He was there to sort out the mess that has cost him more than all of his life savings.

It all began last month with a letter to his wife, Barbara, from an Australian lottery company. It said they were the lucky winners of the Oz 6/45 lottery.  Their share of the winnings: $800,000.

Oz sent the McRees a check for more than $14,000 and then asked the couple to send almost that full amount back to cover insurance, taxes, and customs fees.  They were given two days to reply.

The McRees sent three separate Money Grams to the company, but they found out on Christmas Eve that the check the company sent them was no good.

"I thought there was something fishy about it, but all along, I thought I was using their money they'd sent," Thomas said.  "It never once occurred, 'cause the check looked official and the bank accepted it."

Thomas met with the Upshur County Sheriff, who says, unfortunately, it will be hard to track down the scam artists.

"The chances are slim anytime because it's in another country," Anthony Betterton said.  "And by the time you get law enforcement involved, the company doesn't exist, it's a vacant building, they've already moved, and moved onto bigger and better things."

"I'm not happy about it," Thomas said.  "It's not a really good Christmas present."

Fearing his wife could go to jail for unknowingly writing a hot check, Thomas went to his bank to ask VP Jerry Richardson for more time to raise the money.  Richardson says the bank won't take any action until after the holidays, when he can call the lottery company to find out more information.

Meanwhile, the McRees will ask their family and friends to help them come up with $14,000.

KLTV

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6 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by Littleoldlady.
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Lee's Summit, Mo.
United States
Member #6519
August 26, 2004
192 Posts
Offline
Posted: December 28, 2004, 11:29 am - IP Logged

If the elderly Texas couple had no funds to cover the checks they wrote orher than the check the scammers sent them, apparently their bank permitted them to write checks on the money received from the scammers before the deposited check cleared.  What bank allows customers to write checks on uncollected funds unless the customer has plently of net worth to cover any problem that might arise?

    Maverick's avatar - yinyang
    USA
    United States
    Member #8242
    October 29, 2004
    1133 Posts
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    Posted: December 28, 2004, 6:17 pm - IP Logged

    Wow, I feel sorry for those victims. They should've waited to see if that check actually cleared.

      emilyg's avatar - cat anm.gif

      United States
      Member #14
      November 9, 2001
      31363 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: December 28, 2004, 11:24 pm - IP Logged

      www.fraudwatchinternational.com    lists all foreign scams

      love to nibble those micey feet.

       

                                   

        Annual Payments's avatar - annual 20payments.jpg
        Houston, TX
        United States
        Member #9841
        December 23, 2004
        236 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: December 28, 2004, 11:28 pm - IP Logged

        My first question would whether or not or how they played the Australian lottery from TX.  What I'd think is if I don't play I can't win.  I don't really feel sorry for them.  I wonder what the bank is going to do after the holidays. 

          Maverick's avatar - yinyang
          USA
          United States
          Member #8242
          October 29, 2004
          1133 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: December 28, 2004, 11:54 pm - IP Logged
          Quote: Originally posted by emilyg on December 28, 2004



          www.fraudwatchinternational.com    lists all foreign scams




          Good link emilyg. Thanx.
            Littleoldlady's avatar - basket
            Clarksville
            United States
            Member #487
            July 15, 2002
            17638 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: December 29, 2004, 12:07 am - IP Logged

            The bank should reprimand the teller.  No bank releases funds until the check has cleared.

            If you know your number is going to hit, have patience and then KILL IT!

            You never know when you will get another hit.