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Rip-Off Alert | Postal clerks help save Army veteran from sweepstakes scheme

An Army veteran is grateful this holiday season to the postal clerks who prevented him from sending out hundreds of dollars in a sweepstakes scheme. (KSNV file)

An Army veteran is grateful this holiday season to the postal clerks who prevented him from sending out hundreds of dollars in a sweepstakes scheme.

He admits he got caught up in the idea of winning millions of dollars and lost his common sense. He is a little embarrassed and asked us to hid his face but says he wanted to tell his story to prevent others from becoming victims.

"That was a big mistake, if it wasn't for the post office I would have been out a lot of money," he said.

The Vietnam War veteran is grateful this holiday season to those who kept him from getting caught up in a scam.

Here's what happened: he got a call saying he won a multi-million dollar jackpot and a new car. All he needed to do was send a money order for the taxes on the prize, so he went to a Baltimore post office.

"I asked him did he know who he was sending the blank money order to and he responded 'no,' it was for a sweepstakes. They told him to just send it blank. I told him it wasn't a good idea to send a blank money order to someone that he didn't know," said USPS supervisor Erica Lomax.

Other clerks -- who knew the victim -- heard the story.

"Experience really dictates a lot of the things that you figure out. You get to learn the ways of just life itself," said USPS clerk Mike Frederick.

"We said it doesn't sound right, something is wrong with this picture and we said we pretty much told him it was a scam, it was a con," said USPS clerk specialist Loretta Green.

"We put the brakes on it right there," said Frederick.

The post office refunded the money order and realized there was no prize. However, postal inspectors say these conmen will not stop with one attempt.

"Epidemic proportions of seniors being swindled out of their money. It's affecting seniors that probably have maybe some cognitive decline, where they can't recognize that they are making bad financial decisions," said USPIS inspector Frank Schissler.

Postal inspectors want to encourage adult children to get involved like the clerks at the post office.

"They were able to see red flags. And that's something that we need people across the country to recognize about their senior relatives," said Schissler.

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