STAMFORD, Conn. — Seven people have been arrested in connection with a fake lottery scheme targeting elderly people across the country, Stamford police said.
According to police, the scam worked this way: The suspects would call people, telling them they had won a prize but needed to pay a tax or fee before collecting. Victims were told to send the money by using services such as Western Union or U.S. Postal Service money orders. If the victims did send money, they were often contacted again to send more because of an “issue,” which continued until the victims ran out of money or realized they were being scammed.
The money was being transferred to Costa Rica, police said.
Across the country, 31 victims of the scam were reported, most between 80 and 90 years old, and more than $165,000 was reported missing, police said.
Police have arrested Tiffany Midgette, 32, of Stamford, Kinika Harvey, 28, of Bridgeport, and Stephanie Handy, 25, of Stamford, who were charged with racketeering, money laundering, larceny, attempted larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny.
Also arrested were Kimberly Midgette, 31, of Stamford, Rannisha Fullmore, 27, of Stamford, Keneeta Washington, 30, of Stamford, and Aisha Jones, 27, of Stamford, who were charged with money laundering, larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny.
Extraditable warrants were issued for two more people, one believed to be in Costa Rica and another believed to be in Virginia, police said.