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N.J. man charged in $10K lottery scam on 84-year-old woman

May 1, 2018, 9:23 am

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Scam Alert

A New Jersey man tricked an 84-year-old woman into handing over more than $10,000 after telling her she won a lottery, but needed to pay the taxes on the winnings in advance, authorities said.

Earl Alton Smith, 40, convinced the Canandaigua, New York, resident to give him a $5,000 check and one totaling $5,500 in October, New York State Police said in a statement. 

Smith was arrested by Port Authority police on Wednesday at Newark Liberty International Airport as he was about to board a plane. He was since been extradited to New York and charged with two counts of grand larceny.

New York State Police warned people against falling for lottery and other cons.

"It is easy to succumb to the thrill of big winnings, but if you are solicited for winning a contest you never entered, talk it over with a relative or friend, listen for a foreign accent, look for poor grammar or do some research on your own," a statement from New York State Police reads.

Authorities in New York didn't provide a hometown for Smith.

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