Thieves are using your mailboxes to tell you that you're a lottery sweepstakes winner, when really, the crooks are just trying to steal from you.

The FTC and the Justice Department says scammers have stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from millions of victims in the U.S. The thieves target the elderly and trick them into sending more and more money for a prize they'll NEVER receive.

Sheree Nudd is still stunned her financially savvy mother, Bette fell for a scam wiping out her retirement savings. Once the family began looking, they realized she was entering a lot of sweepstakes.

The letters said Bette won a multi-million dollar prize. All she had to do was pay the taxes. But, no winnings ever came.

Pretty soon, your name gets on a list and then the telephone calls start and the telephone scammers take money at a much faster rate than the mail scammers.

Bette's family intervened and thought she understood to stop sending money. But, it requires constant monitoring.

In all, Bette lost around $200,000. Her entire retirement savings.

{frank schissler, postal inspector}

"Postal inspectors are finding that seniors in this country are under attack, basically from fraudsters who are operating lottery fraud schemes from outside of the country," says Postal Inspectors Frank Schissler. " The sooner you get involved the sooner it can be stopped. and, unfortunately, these fraudsters are so ruthless and relentless that they won't stop until they've taken your senior relative's last dollar."

If you or a loved one has been a victim of a sweepstakes scam, you can file a complaint through the FTC.