BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota attorney general says an alarming number of mostly elderly residents are falling victim to sweepstakes scams.

Wayne Stenehjem says those victims have suffered losses of $366,000 in the last 12 months. He says older people who live alone are favorite targets of scam artists.

Most of the victims believed they had won valuable prizes but had to pay assorted fees and taxes before their winnings could be released. Stenehjem says one 80-year-old woman was told she won $2.5 million and wound up paying more than $50,000 in fees. She never received the prize money.

The attorney general says family members should talk to parents and relatives about the scams.

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