Bogus Lotteries Target Seniors

Congratulations! You've just won a million dollars!

The only catch is that the winners - most often unsuspecting seniors - are required to wire money to a foreign country to "process" the jackpot.

The problem is the lottery is bogus and seniors across the country are losing billions of dollars each year to this con.

"The bottom line is that if you have to give money to get money, it's a scam," said Senior Liaison Officer Don Sikkema who has taken dozens of reports of Arvada seniors being bilked of their money in this manner.

To help combat the never-ending stream of these types of crimes, Officer Sikkema has created a Scam Hotline where he details the latest trends in swindling crimes (720-898-9739).

In addition to the Scam Hotline, Officer Sikkema is working with more than 45 Arvada businesses to post warning signs about wiring money to places like Jamaica, Canada and Nigeria. The placard asks someone sending money to one of these countries to call the SLO to gather additional information about the wire transfer before transferring the money.

"It's extremely frustrating for me to see so many people preying on our seniors. These scam artists don't care if they take the very last dime of the seniors they are targeting," said Officer Sikkema.

Families of seniors can help as well. "It's very important for family members and caregivers to talk with their aging parents and grandparents about scams and what to do if they are called or receive scam mail."

Officer Sikkema also visits senior centers and assisted living locations to meet with seniors each week.

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