San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has sounded the alert about a lottery scam that targets senior citizens and, in at least one instance, looted a couple’s Navy Federal Credit Union account.
According to the D.A., the couple -- ages 83 and 79 - received phone calls advising them they had won as much as $2.5 million but they needed first to buy insurance and pay taxes before their winnings were distributed.
According to a statement from the district attorney’s office, “As proof of the lottery win, the couple received a faxed letter that included the official seal of the County of San Diego, as well as a photocopy of a check in the amount of $2.5 million made out to them. The letter thanked the victims ‘for their service’ and said the lottery winnings would be deposited into their Navy Federal Credit Union Account once the taxes were paid.”
The couple paid out over $20,000. But then matters got worse. Stated the D.A., “Eventually, the couple provided their credit union account information and a Social Security number in order to allow the winnings to be transferred to their account. Instead, the criminals cleaned out the couple’s savings account, stealing an additional $3,000.”
A representative for the $54 billion Navy Federal Credit Union in Vienna, Va., emailed this: “Navy Federal has no comment since this is a criminal investigation.”
Paul Greenwood, San Diego County deputy district attorney, said in a press conference that two other victims had already been found and indicated that likely there were more. He did not say if those cases also involve credit unions.