BROOKLYN - An 81-year-old East New York woman says she lost her entire life savings to scam artists.
Maria, who asked News 12 to withhold her full name, says she was first approached by the scammers while waiting for a bus. The scammers offered her a fake winning lottery ticket in exchange for nearly $100,000. The fake ticket was claimed to be worth more than $160,000.
Police say the first suspect and another suspect then told Maria that God needed her help, which then led to her cashing out her entire life savings of $90,000.
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The suspect told Maria that she could not cash in the ticket because she illegally entered the country. Despite the suspect's claim, there are no rules against undocumented immigrants cashing in winning lottery tickets as long as they were purchased through legal means.
Maria was set to retire this year, but that is no longer a possibility. Her family says they plan to start a crowdfunding campaign to try to recoup some of her losses.