Baltimore, MD - A Vietnam War Veteran is grateful this holiday season to those who kept him from getting caught in a scam.

“That was a big mistake, if it wasn’t for the post office I would have been out a lot of money.” The victim said.

He was too embarrassed about falling for the lottery scam that he asked Consumer Alert not to share his identity.

He got a call saying he won a multi-million-dollar jackpot and a new car. All he had to do was send a money order for the taxes on the prize. So he went to the post office.

“I asked him did he know who he was sending the blank money order to and he responded “no” it was for a sweepstakes they told him to just send it blank I told him it wasn’t a good idea to send a blank money order to someone that he didn’t know.” USPS Supervisor, Erica Lomax said.

Other clerks, who know the victim heard the story and jumped in.

“We said it doesn’t sound right, something is wrong with this picture and we said we pretty much told him it was a scam – it was a con.” Loretta Green, USPS Clerk Specialist said.

The post office refunded the money order when they realized there was no prize. However, postal inspectors say these conmen won’t stop with one attempt.

“Epidemic proportions of seniors being swindled out of their money. It’s affecting seniors that probably have maybe some cognitive decline, where they can’t recognize that they are making bad financial decisions.” USPS Inspector, Frank Schissler said.

Schissler said people across the country need to recognize red flags like the post office did and have a conversation with their senior relatives.

The victim says just be careful and if you don’t know the number, don’t answer the phone.

The clerks in this case were given a certificate of appreciation from the US Postal Inspector service for protecting their customers.