Lottery scam has cost Garfield County victims more than $500,000

A lottery scam has cost Garfield County victims a total of more than $500,000, the county Sheriff’s Department says.

In a news release Thursday morning, the department said it received a report about the scam April 24. It has forwarded information to the FBI.

The scam involves contacting people and telling them they have won a large sum of money in a lottery but must pay taxes and penalties on the money before being able to collect it.

The scammers then follow up with multiple phone calls and with documentation, and falsely claim to be representatives of government agencies in the United States and Costa Rica, assuring the winnings will be released once taxes and penalties are paid in full.

“It’s really unfortunate that we tend to have had quite a few scams over the years. We’ve seen quite a few scams come through, so it’s really important that people be aware and diligent on that,” said sheriff’s spokeswoman Holly Hopple.

She didn’t have an estimate on how many people have been victimized locally by the latest scam.

The Sheriff’s Department is asking people with any suspicions about possible scams to contact local law enforcement.

They also can get more information at the FBI Web site,, or file a complaint at


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