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Foreign Lottery Scam Costs 81-Year-Old Nearly Half A Million Dollars

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Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A scam targeting the elderly causes a man to give away $400,000 in six years after he says he was told he’d receive more than a million dollars in prizes.

Rochelle Ritchie explains that man is warning others not to follow in his footsteps.

The question that comes to mind when you hear these kinds of stories is “Why would anyone do that?” Well, this elderly man says he saw it as an opportunity to pay for his wife’s medical expenses.

A growing lottery scam out of Jamaica is costing Americans millions.

“We see these almost on a daily basis,” said Frank Schissler, U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service says lottery fraud out of Jamaica and Canada are growing more prevalent by the day, and targeting the elderly with promises of big bucks.

“We’re estimating losses at over $42 million in the last three years,” said Schissler.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2008, just under 3,700 scams were reported. In 2012, that number jumped to almost 30,000.

Norman Breidenbaugh, 81, is hoping what happened to him won’t happen to anyone else.

“I don’t have a pot to go in or a window to heave it out of, I lost everything,” he said.

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