Old email scam targets new victims

Elderly man from Birmingham scammed out of $48,000

Published On: Jan 23 2013 08:48:37 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 23 2013 08:56:00 PM EST
Email scam
BIRMINGHAM, Mich. -

Tonight, the Local 4 Defenders have exposed a cruel scam with a Caribbean connection.

Police say the scammers are targeting elderly people who live in affluent neighborhoods, and the scam already cost a man from Birmingham $48,000.

Letters are being sent out to senior citizens; some are receiving the letter via email, others by traditional mail.

The hook: you've won $ 2.5 million and a brand new Mercedes Benz.

The catch: you need to send cash up front to collect the winnings.

"He was sending money to process a claim of $2.5 million plus a brand new Mercedes," Birmingham Police Chief Don Studt said about the victim.

Studt is putting the word out again about this old scam. Sadly, some are still falling for it.

In this case, the 80-year-old man sent almost $50,000 before he realized he had been duped.

"The bad guys, I guess were very persuasive, and they contacted him on almost a daily bases and he would send money cards, he would buy money cards, send the money cards and then the money cards would be transmitted into cash," said Studt.

Police say if you have received an email or phone call saying you have struck it rich, it's likely all just a big scam.

Birmingham Police Chief Don Studt

~Birmingham Police Chief Don Studt~

"If somebody is offering you money for nothing and you don't know them, something is not right with that. It just doesn't happen in real life," said Studt.

Police say the victim's money made its way to a P.O. Box in Jamaica.

It will be difficult to prosecute anyone overseas, but police say they are following the money trail and will continue to investigate.