It can be so easy to get pulled into the trap of a lottery phone scam.
It sounds so enticing — just send them a few thousand dollars to cover the taxes and you rake in hundreds of thousands.
But what sounds too good to be true, is. So, why are so many folks falling for it?
"You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payment of $450,890 — Congratulations."
That letter, with a handwritten address on the envelope, had a Dandridge, Tennessee woman celebrating.
"I started reading it, was real excited, thought I’d really won," the only condition for Bonnie Myers to be the big winner: cash the cashier's check sent to her and send that money back to this so-called lottery corporation in Canada.
"They wanted me to get the $4,480 and wire it," explains Bonnie, "within 48 hours, they would have a FedEx truck deliver me $450,000 dollars."
Fortunately for Bonnie, she tried depositing the check first.
Her bank told her it was not legit.
"I would've been out $4,000, would've had to pay it back." Bonnie suspected it was a scam after watching last Sunday's edition of 60 Minutes.
"Believe me, Mrs. Keelings, it's well worth it," that's a taped conversation of this scam artist, telling a woman over the phone how she's about to be rich.
"I was the best, pretty much the best there was at conning people out of their life savings over the telephone," the scam artist told 60 Minutes.
Just like this lottery scam targeting Bonnie Myers, he also operated out of Canada and used the same MO — send a small amount of money, in a couple of days, receive your huge prize.
"There is a perverse thrill to being able to do that to somebody, to take their hard earned money," says the scam artist who spoke to 60 Minute on the condition of anonymity.
"I just don't see how anybody could do that to anybody, because I know I couldn't," says Bonnie.
That's why Bonnie wants you to hear her loud and clear — if one of these letters sounds too good to be true, that's because it is.
"In the back of my mind I knew it wasn't, but I wanted to believe it was," says Bonnie, "put it through a shredder, tear it up."
The FBI is investigating those writing the letters and making the phone calls, but because the scam artists use wire transfers, they can pick up the money sent to them almost anywhere — and that makes them difficult to track and find.
And a new one since the 60 minutes story aired: callers telling you how they can help you recover the money you already lost, for just a few thousand dollars.
Guess what you should do — hang up the phone!