Unscrupulous lotto fraudsters regularly try and fleece lotto hopefuls by telling them they have won a large prize and then demanding a fee before the prize can be released. The elderly are often particularly at risk, but one lotto fraudster met his match when he rang up 78-year-old Elroy Hinton.
Hinton, from Jacksonville, Florida, was surprised when he received a phone call assuring him he had won over $5 million in a Texas Mega Millions lottery drawing, but when the mystery caller told Hinton he would need to pay a processing fee of $350 the old-timer got wise to the trickster and realized it was scam.
"I just kind of listened to him for a while," Hinton said. "I told him 'You have an advantage on me because you call my number, you have my name.' And he said, 'You can trust me.'"
But Hinton was having none of it. "I told him, 'Why don't you send me the money and I'll send you $350 and that would be my trust.'"
In this case the fraudster's lies and empty promises failed to profit him, but each year a startling amount of people fall for such scams.
Jacksonville Police Sgt. Daniel Franklin said: "These things happen constantly. There's not really a time of year or special event that sparks this, either. I don't know how they [fraudsters] get hold of people, or how they choose a number, but luckily he [Hinton] knew this was a scam."
Hinton's advice to anyone who receives such a call: "Just hang up. That's about the best thing, because if someone can offer that kind of money, you know they can take care of the taxes and other expenses."