A Lancashire pensioner who was conned out of £7,000 by fraudsters over the phone is warning other elderly people to avoid her fate.
"Marjorie", 73, from the Fylde Coast was told in February she had won £210,000 in a contest by a man claiming to be from a US lottery organisation.
But she was told she would have to pay £7,000 taxes first.
The woman, who handed the cash over, said she was shocked when she realised she was the victim of a scam.
"I was devastated, I just couldn't believe how I had been taken in," she said.
"I couldn't sleep for weeks."
Det Con Tony McClements, of Lancashire Constabulary's economic crime unit, said: "This type of scam is particularly deplorable as those who fall victim rapidly go from the elation of 'winning' to total despair when they realise they have been duped.
"It is deliberately targeted at the elderly and the vulnerable so we all have a part to play in watching over elderly relatives or those who need our support."
He said prevention was the best policy and urged people to be sceptical about anybody offering prizes over the phone or by post.
"Remember that if it looks too good to be true it probably is," he said.