Sep 20, 2019
Pat, an 81-year-old woman from Kentucky, receives a call that she has won a $7.5 million lottery prize. Pat can’t believe her luck. Unaware that the call is a scam, she begins speaking with the scammers multiple times a day. Over the next seven months, they befriend Pat in an effort to convince her that she’ll receive the prize money as soon as she pays taxes on her winnings. Slowly they gain Pat’s trust, and she starts sending money to the scammers. Every time she thinks she has made a final payment and will receive her prize, the scammers come up with a new issue requiring her to send more money. Eventually the scammers take over $100,000 from Pat. Unfortunately, Pat’s story is common among lottery-scam victims. Often by the time these scams are uncovered, victims have lost thousands of dollars, and because of the difficulties in tracking down and prosecuting scammers, most never receive restitution. However, determined to get a better outcome for citizens, the state of Kentucky has dedicated resources to fight back against scammers. Investigators in the Kentucky Attorney General’s office have been working to track down and prosecute scammers, and their efforts are paying off. In the last four years the Kentucky Attorney General’s office has returned $2.1 million to victims of fraud. When they hear about Pat’s case they dive in, following the money, hoping to apprehend the scammers and get justice for Pat.