HOLDEN (CBS) – An 80-year-old woman from Holden has lost nearly $400,000 in a scam, according to police.

The woman received a letter in the mail that said she had been awarded a large sum of money, but to claim her prize, she needed to pay several fees and complete paperwork, according to the paper.

She allegedly began sending the money without her children’s knowledge, and began receiving more letters that promised even more money.

Unaware she was being scammed, she mailed more than 200 checks over the course of a year.

“Some payments were $100, others were thousands of dollars,” said Holden Police Sgt.Chris Carey.

WBZ-TV’s Paul Burton reports

Police say in all, the company scammed her out of $400,000, her and her late husband’s entire life savings.

“It’s very unfortunate. She has no money now,” said Sgt Carey. “Every week she gets a check from her retirement and that’s all she has now.”

Police said that there are many other known victims of the scam. Federal authorities are assisting police with the investigation.

Comments (14)
  1. jaygee says:

    One has to be living in a vacuum not to have a clue as to the multiple scams that arre perpetrated every day agianst innocent but very naive people. This woman must have no family and nobody else to confide if she could give this much money away without calling someone.
    These scams come by mail, by internet and by telephone. If it sounds too good to be true or if someone tells you that you won a lottery, that you never entered in the first place, forget it.

    1. Matt says:

      It says right in the article that she did this without her childrens knowledge.

      1. jaygee says:

        I saw that Matt but it’s obvious she still had nobody that “she thought” she could explain her “winnings”. A terrible thing.

  2. fred says:

    There was a similar story a while back and a person at the bank realized a home improvemnt scam was going on that was taking advantage of an elderly person and it was stopped before it got out of hand. Too bad her bank didn’t notice 400k flying out the door in such a short span unless someone there was in on it any cherry picked her as a mark.

  3. Stanley11 says:

    I swear….scamming people and stealing identity should be penalized with the death penalty. They are some of the lowest of the low and they destroy lives. Scumbags.

  4. donny says:

    Greed has many faces.

  5. Mauiblue says:

    The elderly need more help than we can ever imagine. Many but not all suffer from some form of dementia or mental illness. Preying on the elderly like this is the lowest of low. I am very very sad for her.

  6. Ron T says:

    It’s most unfortunate that some of the elderly do lose their common sense, causing them to fall for this kind of scam!

    It definitely would be a good idea for banks to keep an eye on their elderly customers, if large sums of money are being consistently withdrawn!

    1. Willow says:

      Ron, I agree with you. You would have thought that when she began losing hundreds of thousands of dollars that a light bulb would have gone off. Obviously, this poor lady was unable to take care of her finances or this wouldn’t have happened. The bank probably would have stepped in and questioned the withdrawals had they been in larger sums. I still can’t understand how such a large sum of money was just handed over by this dear lady. Children need to speak to their elderly parents about such things before another elderly person is taken to the cleaners like this one.

  7. web says:

    I don’t understand how some people expect a bank to watch out for withdrawals. Some payments were $100, those could be for expenses. The bigger ones could be ‘gifts’ to children and family. Elderly people ‘gift’ things away so they don’t leave it all to the state. Everyone has their own story and way to manage their money. Horrible that there are people out there that prey on the elderly, but unfortunately, they are always there, ready to take advantage of someone.

  8. caregiver says:

    PLEASE go through the mail with your elderly family members… One of my clients was spending over $600 a week sending money to any non-profit that asked. If you see them with USA jackets, or World Wildlife bags.. or other “Free” gifts.. really begin to question who they are sending money to. You would be amazed how sneaky the solicitors are. They make mail look like its a government document, or a felt tipped letter from a friend. They may also order from catalogs.. Triple the price of what they can get at Christmas tree shop.. usually junk.. It is so hard to stop these mailings too.. It’s ridiculous!

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