Ferndale man warns of lottery scam which fooled him

Overseas letter promised riches, Ferndale man says

Published On: Oct 02 2012 06:04:53 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 02 2012 06:42:14 PM EDT
FERNDALE, Mich. -

A Ferndale man wants to warn others not to fall for a fake lotto scam like he did.

Peter does not want his last name reported. He said he received a letter from Spain telling him he qualified to win $5,500,000 in an international lotto drawing.

The letter showed what appeared to be a former winner.  The letter told Peter he needed to send $2,000 to help him claim his winnings.

"He was going to come with a diplomat supposedly, pick me up and take me to a bank to do the rest f the paperwork to get me my money," Peter said.

Peter is an older man, disabled and trusting.  The scam artists look for just such a victim who believes the alleged winnings will change his and his wife's lives.

"I thought we could pay off the house, she could quit working, because we don't see each mother much. She works the late shift," Peter said.

Peter is embarrassed to admit he did cash a $2,500 check that was sent to him, but is glad he did not try to use the money for a big purchase.

Peter then became worried when someone kept calling him.

"He was kind of intimidating too. Every time he would ask, how's the wife?  Why did he keep asking?  That made me nervous," Peter said.

Peter's wife started doing research and stopped him from spending any of the money he was sent. The Local 4 Defenders asked Peter how he felt.

"Like a sucker. Thank God my wife was more suspicious than I was," Peter said.

Peter and his wife took  their case to the Ferndale police department and filed a report. There may be little police can do, but Peter and his wife want to warn anyone about getting checks in the mail and being asked to cash them.  They say it might be just the start of a bigger scam.