A woman in Las Vegas has been handed a three-year jail term in federal prison after being found guilty of participating in a sweepstake scam. The 50 years old lady was found to have played a role in a criminal plot that was hugely targeting more senior people and other susceptible individuals. The individuals involved in the scam would send fraudulent emails to their victims, informing them that they had won various prizes.
The federal judge at the Las Vegas Federal District Courthouse passed sentence on Andrea Burrow after the prosecutor backed the case with conclusive evidence. Additionally, Burrow will subsequently serve three years of supervised release together with her prison time. She also received orders from the court to give up the $272,000 she had gained from the scam.
Prosecutors on the case we’re looking to pin down Burrows to at least five years in federal prison. They alleged that her criminal behavior could be traced to way back in 2010 when the case was first reported. Court records proved that federal officers had laid their hands on more than $237,000 that she had deposited in a safety box at the Bank of America. Some other amount was also seized from her private residence in Las Vegas in 2018.
Burrows was participating in a mail scheme that would send fake prize announcements to people. These mails tricked victims into getting huge cash prizes once they had paid some fee ranging from $20 to $30. The authorities disclosed that Andrea Burrows was in charge of opening mails, sorting payments, and keeping track of submitted payments through a database. Individuals who sent their payments via mail were further targeted for more prize scams.
Andrea Burrow’s Accomplices
Burrow is among nine other people who are to be charged for the fraudulent scheme. In August, she took a guilty plea on the charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. She had earlier been indicted in 2019 together with five other accomplices. The remaining suspects are awaiting to stand trial later in June.
Three other accomplices of Burrows also took guilty pleas to the conspiracy chargeback in 2019. Federal authorities are now focusing on similar cases that take advantage of the postal service to commit crimes. The FBI has disclosed that sweepstakes scam is among several scams that defraud individuals close to three billion dollars a year. Older people are usually targeted because of their excellent credit standings and financial saving that attract scammers.
Avoiding the Trap of Sweepstakes Scams
If something sounds too good to be real, then it usually isn’t real is applicable here. The FBI advises people who get these kinds of emails to countercheck them on the web. One can start by searching in Google the name of the company claiming to run sweepstakes, their addresses, and contact information. In most instances, one will come across complaints on that particular company that has been submitted by other individuals.
The FBI also urges these people targeted by a sweepstakes scheme to report to any of their offices. Individuals can also make online submissions of such information.