GLENDALE (CBSLA.com) — An 81-year-old waitress from Glendale was forced to put her retirement on hold after scammers conned her out of her life savings.
Antonia Becerra, who has spent the last 44 years as a waitress at Taix French Restaurant in Los Angeles, said she received a phone call from a man who said she had won millions of dollars.
“I was jumping up and down…I thought it was something for real. That I would retire,” she said.
There was just one catch.
Becerra said she had to pay them thousands of dollars in processing fees and taxes to claim it.
“I sent them the money and two days later, I had to send some more money. And some more money to get the ‘package.’ What they called the ‘package,’” she said.
The “package” of money never arrived.
Becerra, however, ended up wiring tens of thousands of dollars to the scammers.
When she ran out of money, they told her to sell her car.
“I sold it and I sent them the money. He told me, ‘You send the money today and tomorrow morning you will get $2 million and a brand new Mercedes,’” Becerra said.
In all, she sent the con artists $65,000.
The scammers even tried to get her Social Security number.
The Glendale Police Department said the money went to Nigeria, so they don’t expect to see any cash recovered.
“We volunteered to pay a month’s worth of her rent at her current location and to champion a cause to raise money for her,” said Det. Jason Ross.
Police have no leads in the case.