Before you send any money ask if this one's for real

The next time someone promises you millions if you just send a few thousand dollars, hang up the phone and delete the email.  One woman learned that lesson the hard way.

Krist says, "My mother was very embarrassed; she is a proud woman and can't believe she was scammed like this."

Krist says his mother paid out $20,000 to people who promised her millions of dollars and a new car if she just sent them money.

"In the beginning of the scam they couldn't be nicer. They called my mother sweetheart and darling and were so kind. Then when the money didn't arrive they became increasingly agitated."

U.S. Postal Inspector Samantha Knoll says, "They were very persistent in calling her and wanting her to send money."

But when Krist's mother eventually began sending large amounts of cash by mail, U.S. Postal Inspectors spotted the packages.

Krist says, "I received a call from US Postal inspectors saying they had intercepted two large shipments of cash that had been sent from my mother."

Krist broke the news to his mother.

 "We closed several bank accounts, changed her home phone and cell phone numbers and had all of her mail forwarded to our box so she wouldn't be harassed by these people again."

It was the smart thing to do because just a few months later Krist says, "someone had tried to withdraw $20-thousand dollars from her account. Fortunately, my wife and I had closed they weren't able get to any of the funds."

Krist has good advice for children with older parents.

"As they get older, you need to monitor their mail, you need to monitor their phone, you need to monitor their finances to make sure they aren't in a scam like this."

Knoll says, "Someone would go ahead and call you, and they are very aggressive. In order for you to receive a prize, or to receive cash, usually that's a scam."

Of the $20,000 Krist's mother sent through the mail at varying times, postal inspectors were able to retrieve about half of it.

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