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Wal-Mart Clerk Foils $25,000 Scam

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KINSTON, N.C. — The money-transfer form got Lakeisha Washington's attention, and so did the elderly woman who filled it out.

Washington, who works at the Wal-Mart in Kinston, took special notice of the form last week when the woman tried to transfer $25,000, especially since transfers can't exceed ten-thousand dollars.

Washington summoned a manager, who asked the woman why she was sending so much money. The woman responded that she was told she'd have to send the money to get her prize delivered.

The woman had been enticed to surrender virtually all of her life savings by a notorious fraud operation out of Canada. In the scam, a caller announces that the victim has won the Canadian lottery, but before the jackpot can be awarded, the winner must send money for taxes or import duties.

Attorney General Roy Cooper says in 2003 alone, his office received 400 complaints about telemarketing deceits -- usually after the victim has sent the money.

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