A PENSIONER has been conned by fraudsters three times.
Widow Joan Fullard has lost thousands after becoming a target of scams.
But now the 81-year-old is warning others to be wary, after spotting the latest attempt by con men who claimed she had won thousands of pounds in a consolation prize draw for lottery losers.
The men, who spoke with Indian accents, repeatedly pestered Mrs Fullard, calling her home phone and mobile on Friday.
They told her she had won more than £6,000, which could be collected from a travel agents in Durham City.
Mrs Fullard was asked to take her passport and hand over £150, which later changed to £550.
A police investigation revealed that she would have then been given a reference number over her mobile telephone and instructed to electronically-transfer £550 into a depositing account to receive her winnings.
Luckily, the former hotel worker called the police, after being swamped by other cons.
“I get so many like this, calls and letters,” she said. “I have had my bank account emptied three times.
“The first time I only had £40. The next time they took £4,000. I did not have that amount of money in.
“I tried to pay for my shopping with my card and there was no money in.
“I got on the phone to the bank manager and I was in tears.
“I did get everything sorted and I got it all back.”
Now she has a stark warning to potential victims of the lottery fraudsters.
“If you aren’t in it, then you can’t win it,” she said.
Police today urged people not to get involved with con men operating the Euro Millions scam.
Detective Inspector Nev Carman, of Durham Police, said: “This is a scam, no winnings would be received.
“Fortunately, the woman reported this incident to us before any money was handed over and we were able to carry out inquiries into it.
“We must stress that there is no secondary Euro Millions draw.
“If you’re numbers don’t appear in the draw or you haven’t bought a ticket, there are no winnings to be received.”