Woman scammed out of more than $100K over 9 months

The victim was sending money orders over a period of about nine months.
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A Minnesota woman is out more than $100,000 because of a phone scam. 

The Olmsted County Sheriff's Office reports that it was called to a local Rochester bank on May 24 to meet with employees and a 77-year-old woman who had been taken to the cleaners by a scammer. 

The woman said the scam began September 2018, when a caller told her that she'd won $1.5 million and a Mercedes Benz through the "Las Vegas Sweepstakes." But in order to claim the prize, she had to send money through mail orders. 

She sent money orders ranging from $70 to $21,000, totaling nearly $109,000. 

According to the sheriff's release, employees at the bank suspected it was a scam and tried to stop the woman from sending money, but she was "extremely reluctant" to get police involved and the bankers couldn't stop the transactions because the woman was the only person on the account. 

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Finally, bankers convinced her that the money orders needed to stop and the police needed to be called.

The investigation remains in its early stages and authorities are not naming the bank nor the victim in the case. 

"The Sheriff’s Office, once again, asks that those with elderly parents or loved ones, stay involved in their loved one’s well-being, both financially and physically," the sheriff's office says. "These types of thefts can be easily prevented through intervention by loved ones."

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