LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal officials have returned $160,000 to an 87-year-old Los Angeles-area widower who was bilked in a Quebec-based telemarketing scam targeting elderly people.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent Claude Arnold said in a statement Wednesday the retired engineer, whose name was not released, fell victim to a common fraud perpetrated by telemarketing con artists.

The victim was contacted last April by two women posing as representatives of the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Justice, who told him he had won a $3.3 million Canadian lottery prize.

To claim the prize, they told him he would have to send money to pay the taxes on his winnings. The octogenarian sent them three checks, which were intercepted by Canadian postal authorities.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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