<![CDATA[
]]>Local news at Hammonton report the rise in lottery and phishing scams targeting at elderly folks. Perhaps it was not the intention of the scammers to target at elderly people, but it just happens that some elderly people falls into the trap easier. Imagine an old man waiting in vain to win that MegaMillions top prize for the past years, and receiving an email saying that he has just won a lottery somewhere on earth. As for phishing scams, it is not easy to spot even for younger adults, let alone elderly folks.

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HAMMONTON — For the past seven months, authorities have seen a noted
increase in telephone and Internet scam cases targeting seniors.


Police Detective John Panarello said the department’s detective
division has investigated 50 incidents, which could lead to the victims
turning over valuable information such as credit card numbers, bank
routing numbers and even Social Security numbers.


“There’s a lot of variety of scams out there,” Panarello said. “There’s
the telemarketers, Internet scams and check scams. It seems that they
are going after the elderly residents here. They are getting targeted.”


One of the first scams Panarello and fellow detectives Gerry Martinez
and Joel Frederico investigated involved a fake lottery check.


“With the lottery scam, you’ll get a check in the mail. It’s a
legitimate check, which is forged and stolen from a company. It says
you’ve just won say $250,000 in a lottery. They send you a check for a
portion of it,” Panarello said.


One Hammonton woman recently received such a notice. With her “winning” notification letter, she received a check for $3,900.


“They said if you cash this check, send $2,200 back and you’ll receive
the remainder of your $250,000,” Panarello said. “The subject cashed
the check, turned around and sent them a check. The check bounced and
they were out that $2,200.”

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