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Deaf Elderly Women Targeted in Lottery Scam

WESTERVILLE (Tara Morgan) -- Police say an elderly deaf woman helped swindle thousands of dollars from women with the same disability.

Westerville police believe the lottery scheme has been going on for more than two years over video phone.

Detective Ted Smith tells ABC6/FOX28 he got a call from a detective in North Carolina last April about a woman living in a deaf community in Westerville.

Smith says the people behind the 700K Deaf Awareness Lottery took advantage of her inability to hear.

She's accused of using sign language to tell other deaf women, including an acquaintance, they've won $700,000 but first have to wire their own money for taxes and fees.

"Is it that believable to them? I believe that it is because they're sold this from someone they trust," said Det. Smith

Det. Smith says the woman was told to stop but then got a call from a detective in Florida about a similar case.

He believes there are possibly two to three hundred more victims.

The woman is not being named because she has not been charged.
 
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