NBC 5 Responds After Woman Loses Money in Fake Check Scheme

Pamela Duncan lost $5,000 after a fake lottery scam

Pamela Duncan told reporters how she got a call saying she won the lotto.

She was sent a check with instructions to deposit it and wire the money back to cover fees and taxes.

It wasn't the lotto, she lost $5,000.

"Of course I was just devastated, I thought, 'OK, what am I going to do?'" she said.

Pamela is a senior, retired and lives in a home so small in Italy we had to sit outside to talk to her comfortably.

She lives off her social security check. The bank told Pamela her account was $5,000 in the red and every dollar she got from the government would go to pay the bank back -- for months.

"I have a car payment, insurance, and rent," is what she told her bank.

She said the manager told her every penny would be taken until the money was paid back.

She said she offered to pay in installments, but was told no. She borrowed money from a church and asked for extensions on her rent; still she was worried she might be out on the street.

We walked out of the news conference where Pamela shared her story and immediately called her bank.

We knew the bank would want to recoup the money lost, but asked it to reconsider Pamela's request to pay it back over time.

After all, this is a senior in a small town who just wanted to do business at her local bank and have money to survive.

We laid out her case and the bank agreed they could be more flexible in allowing Pamela to pay back $50 a month until the bill is paid off.

"Well I certainly appreciate it, because I had no idea that anything like that would be happening, so it was such a relief," she said.

Banks would go out of business if they gave money back every time someone is tricked out of their money.

That's how much this is happening. The Better Business bureau announced this month it is working with banks to try to come up with a better way to spot this stuff before it gets out of control.

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