Increase in scams in Olmsted County

(ABC 6 News) -The Olmsted County Sheriff’s office has seen an uptick in elderly people being scammed in the last month — in some cases losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. The sheriff’s office is asking you to help protect your older loved ones.

In Byron, a man sent about $350,000 to a woman he met on She claimed to own a hotel in need of repairs. Scammers also often pretend you’ve won the lottery.

The catch is you have to send them money for supposed taxes and fees before they can transfer you your winnings.

Experts say if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Once victims lose money, the sheriff’s office says it’s very hard to recover and difficult to press charges.

"It’s very rare to get this money back. It’s hard to investigate and identify these people and where that money goes," Lt. Lee Rossman with the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office said.

That’s why prevention is so important. Law enforcement is asking you to sit down with the elderly people in your life and warn them about the dangers of these scams. Watch how they are managing their money.

"Sit down with them, explain to them, you may get these phone calls. Whatever you do, don’t send money," Rossman said.

You can also assign power of attorney to a family member or get conservatorship or control over their finances through the court system.

Many victims lose their life savings or go into debt from these scams. If you think you or someone you know is being scammed, you can call the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center.