Ala woman gets back thousands lost in scam

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - An Alabama woman who was taken in by a scam has gotten back $16,800 after a joint U.S. and Canadian investigation into fraudulent telemarketers passing themselves off as lottery officials.

The Alabama resident got her money back on May 14, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The woman did not want her identity released. She told The Birmingham News that she has lived in Alabama all her life. She says she didn't realize how complex and official-sounding these schemes could be.

The woman says she received letters and phone calls that seemed legitimate, adding that the telemarketers appeared to know a lot about her and her family.

The money was returned by a multi-agency U.S-Canada initiative called "Project COLT."

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)