Just days after the passing of her husband, 81-year-old Christine Hansen was targeted by manipulative scammers who conned the elderly widow out of more than US$100,000 (AU$135,794).
Hansen, who is known as ‘Kitty’, received a telephone call, just two days after the death of her beloved husband in June, telling her she had won a windfall of $2.6 million.
In the weeks that followed, Hansen sent off more than $100,000 in cash to the cruel scammers, who told the vulnerable woman that she had won a contest with Publisher’s Clearing House, whose competitions she said she regularly entered.
The widow, from North Dakota, USA, told local TV station WDAY that the crooks “caught her at a bad time.”
“They were very clever in the way that they handled me, I feel very foolish about being caught in this program. I mean It was right after my husband died, and they caught me at a bad time. I guess they do that to a lot of people.”
Hansen revealed that the scammers – who are believed to have pounced after seeing name in an online obituary for her husband, according to Kare11 – told her to keep quiet about the so-called win.
Over a period of five weeks she proceeded to send seven boxes filled with cash to addresses mainly in Florida, before her family discovered what had been going on.
Her family have now launched a GoFundMe page in a bid to try and help the elderly woman after she was cheated out of her life savings, revealing she also took out cash advances on her credit cards which has landed her in debt.
“Two days after my 81-year-old father in-law passed away in June, my mother in-law got a call that she had won Publishers Clearing House,” her son in law Rick Anderson wrote. “She just needed to send them a bunch of cash to pay for the taxes and keep it very quiet.
“For the next five weeks she proceeded to send boxes of cash to address is in Florida. Long story short they got over $100,000 from her and convinced her to take cash advances on her credit cards so she now has debt.
“We are trying to help her at minimum pay off her debt. We don’t have much hope of recovering her hundred thousand dollars. Christine is a very simple woman and has never had any doubt or anything of luxury. ”
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