Consumer Alert: Lottery scam costs retiree her life savings

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - How do you know if a contest or lottery is really a scam? Thousands of people are learning the hard way.

Betty Klassen was devastated to learn she and her husband were scammed out of thousands of dollars.

"He said I won $3 million and if I sent $5,000 I could collect the money, so I sent him the money," Klassen says.

The former teacher sent money orders and cash cards to the address she was given. She was asked for more money.

Klassen admits she really thought she had won a prize until her children forced her to face the truth.

"This is her retirement savings, this is what she worked her whole life for and she is sending that money in a lottery scam in hopes of getting a lump sum in return," says Michael Roberto, U.S. Postal Inspector.

Klassen says she wishes she'd talked to her children about what she was doing much earlier in the process. She believes that could have saved her a lot of money.

Remember, no legitimate lottery or contest will ever ask for money upfront before giving you winnings.

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