HOBE SOUND, FL (WFLX) - It's hard to imagine anyone trying to hurt 84-year-old Lorraine Powers. But, she says, she scammers stole her life saving and those same people threatened to kill her.
"I feel like I'm embarrassed, that I could have been so stupid and foolish to believe the stories," Lorraine Powers said.
She told us she wanted some extra cash to enjoy her retirement. The widow suffered a stroke and felt like a burden to her family, so she started entering sweepstakes. It seemed like her prayers had been answered when she got a phone call saying that she had won $2 million and a new car. All she had to do was send cash to Jamaica to cover the taxes on her winnings.
Mrs. Powers said, "They make things sound so realistic, only too late did I find out all of it was just a scam."
As you probably guessed the millions never came, nor did the car. But, then, Mrs. Powers started getting phone calls.
She played several of the calls for us. All had men with Caribbean accents, and they started out calm and pleasant. "Please pick up I really want to speak with you. Please. Bye bye," the caller said.
She says the callers would tell her that her money was coming, but the money or the agent with the cash was held up.
The callers would tell her that she could only get her winnings if she sent more money. She even pawned almost all of her jewelry in the process.
In all, she says, she sent $76,000 to Jamaica. Then, when she had no more money to send, the calls became threatening. "You better pick up", said one caller.
But then the worst where her life was threatened. "Ms. Lorraine, you are not listening to me I'm going to cut your f---ing throat right now, ok bye," the caller said on her voicemail.
She says, looking back, it seems so obvious now and knows the money probably isn't coming back.
But she wants to warn others, so they don't get scammed like her. "Now, looking back, I realize how absolutely foolish I was, and I just beg all the women out there. If you get a call, and they sweet talk you into sending money, don't do it," Powers said.
Mrs. Powers, who was a former marketing executive, also says for anyone who has parents of a certain age and think they might be vunerable to something like this, make sure you talk to them so they are informed protected.