Learn How to Protect Yourself From Mail, E-Mail or Foreign-Lottery Scams

A 78-year-old Florida woman fell victim to a foreign-lottery scam, losing $10,000 of her money.

But authorities are completely baffled about what they say she did next.

Doris Siegel allegedly went on a five-year scam spree, bilking her pastor and friends out of more than $1 million, according to police.

Siegel is in jail on fraud charges.

Click HERE to read more about the case.

VIDEO: 78-year-old woman ripped off her friends after falling victim to a similar scam.Play

Here are some tips on how you can avoid being scammed:

If you're thinking of responding to solicitations about foreign lotteries, here's some advice: Don't.

Here's what the Federal Trade Commission has to say about such offers:

Playing a foreign lottery, by mail or over the phone, is against federal law.

There are no secret systems for winning foreign lotteries. Your chances of winning more than you pay for your tickets are slim to none.

Purchasing one foreign lottery ticket will lead to many more questionable lottery offers and even bogus "investment" opportunities. The Federal Trade Commission, which is the nation's consumer protection agency, says purchasing a ticket will lead to your name being placed on "sucker lists" that fraudulent telemarketers buy and sell.

Never share your credit card and banking information. Scam artists will often ask for your private financial information during an unsolicited sales pitch.

Ignore any mail, e-mail or phone solicitations for foreign lottery promotions.

Tips for Avoiding Scams

To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357).

Click HERE for even more tips about how you can avoid becoming the victim of a scam.

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