NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office is warning the public of a multi-state scam targeting elderly residents in the parish.
According to a Facebook post by the sheriff’s office, a couple in Slidell was notified by email that they had won $25,000,000 in the Mega-Millions lottery.
Detectives said the couple was directed to wire money for taxes and processing fees to Oregon.
According to the report, soon after wiring the money, the elderly couple was contacted by the scammers, who identified themselves as “government agents” investigating the mega-millions lottery as a fraudulent money laundering operation.
The couple was told to continue sending money, as directed, so the “government agents” could track down the scammers, according to detectives.
The St Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office was contacted and immediately identified this as an international scam.
In a course of two days, STPSO detectives worked with other financial institutions across several states to recover $80,000 of the couple’s money.
The St Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office reminds the public to be suspicious of any unsolicited emails, phone calls and texts, which claim someone has won a contest or are eligible to receive anything of value.
In most cases, by the time law enforcement is notified, the money has been funneled out of the country, and is not recoverable, according to detectives.