SMH… How could you be sooooo naive!
A gullible Brooklyn woman was convinced by scam artists that she was a Mega Millions lottery winner, even though she had never bought a ticket — and she forked over her life savings plus money borrowed from loved ones to prepay the “tax” on a fictitious $2.5 million prize.
Yadira Barbosa, 57, sold her car, emptied her bank accounts and maxed out her credit cards to raise the $44,244 in cash the scammers demanded.
“I’ve lost everything,” she told The Post. “I’m on disability. Right now that’s all I have.”
The Williamsburg resident said the scammers phoned her on Feb. 13 and told her she had won a Mega Millions drawing.
Even though she hadn’t bought a ticket, she was told that everyone who makes a credit-card purchase is automatically entered in the lottery.
To collect the dough, however, she had to first pay the “taxes” on the prize — and was instructed to transfer money to accounts in Florida and Jamaica.
Somehow, she never became suspicious.
“I just want to help [family members] financially,” she said, referring to her sisters and ailing mother back home in Puerto Rico. “That was my main motivation.”
Barbosa, a former pharmacy manager, never saw the millions, but the con artists kept demanding more and more. And she kept paying, even borrowing $14,000 from a sister. Finally, she went to the cops on April 26.
Police have made no arrests, and sources said it will be difficult to find the crooks because those calls usually come from Jamaica.
“She’s naive,” said her brother, Pedro Salles, 50.“She’s a churchgoing woman, and that’s the kind of woman they take advantage of. I wish I could catch these people.”
This is just sad… Word to the wise, don’t ever believe someone who calls you on the phone to say you won some money. Even Publisher’s Clearinghouse comes to the crib.
Source Gabriella Bass
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