A woman says her 82-year-old grandmother, who lost all of her money to a con artist, was so devastated by the scam that she committed suicide.
The woman spoke to the U.S. Justice Department on Thursday about the scam that hit her family.
“It pains me to say this but she took her life because of this incident,” said Houston resident Angels Stancik, through tears. “These individuals preyed on her and on her good heart.” Her grandmother was named Marjorie Earl Jones.
“What should have been some of the best years in the last chapter of her life was taken from her. She was robbed in every sense,” Stancik said. Stancik said her grandmother fell prey to a sweepstakes scam. She was told she won money but needed to pay fees and taxes.
Jones ultimately sent all of her money to scammers and later had to borrow money from family members, took out all of her life insurance and then tragically committed suicide. She died with $69 in her bank account.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other Justice Department officials listened to Stancik’s account. “It happens far too often in this country,” Sessions said. Sessions said more than 200 suspects have been arrested in the past year for elder fraud schemes.
The FTC on Thursday announced a civil complaint in a sweepstakes scheme that allegedly bilked consumers out of more than $100 million and a tech support scam operating out of India. “It is a despicable crime these people are doing, they laugh about their ability to defraud people,” Sessions said.