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A lottery scammer from New Jersey is booked for tricking three elderly women across the country by stealing over $675,000 by convincing them that they owed "prepaid taxes" as a condition for claiming a prize that didn’t even exist.
As per the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey, Shanile Lyle, 27, of Orange, was charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud after wrongly convincing the victims that they won a nonexistent prize and must pay some money in order to claim it.
The scammer, Lyle, had called several elderly women in June 2018 and falsely congratulated and promised them big winnings. For one victim, she managed to convince a 94-year-old woman from Hawaii, that she bagged a $6 million prize from the Publishers Clearing House (PCH) Sweepstakes. And in return what did she receive? 20 checks worth over $500,000! Upon receiving these checks, Lyle deposited them into her own accounts before transferring some of them to the unnamed conspirators.
According to the lottery organization, winners of prizes of more than a couple of hundred dollars will never be contacted through telephone, mail, or bulk mails. But a representative will appear in-person to deliver the confidential news or send a certified letter.
The scammer’s second victim was a 75-year-old woman from Kentucky, who was convinced by Lyle that she won a $2 million prize and a car. Not only she had to be duped to purchase cell phones and gift cards but she also sent checks worth $30,000 to the fraudster. Lyle then defrauded an 86 year old person from Indiana. Similar to the Kentucky woman, she called the victim and told her that she won a large amount of money and an automobile, and in return, she had to pay about $20,000 to Lyle.
A total of around $675,000 was received by the scammer and her conspirators.
After the incident, the Montana Lottery warned the players that scammers are trying to defraud vulnerable citizens such as the elderly to dupe large sums of money.
The maximum penalty the state puts on committing wire fraud is a sentence of 20 years in person and a fine of $250,000, or twice the financial gain, or twice the gross loss involved, whichever is greater.
Be aware and do not fall prey to any scam!
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