FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Bev Burnett has always enjoyed taking a bit of gamble. Quick trips to the casino allowed her to escape for a bit. She even hit a $10,000 winner in Louisiana, but never the giant jackpot, which may be why when the phone rang in January she ignored the red flags.

“You know I just, I wanted it to happen so bad, to be true, I went with it,” she said.

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The man on the line said he was with the IRS and she had won a $1.8 million sweepstakes but never collected. He mentioned she had been sent some letters about taxes and winning several years ago and she recalled receiving something.

She bought gift cards, passing on the numbers to Mark, the man who called. She passed on credit card and social security information. She opened new bank accounts, and became one of the thousands of Texans over 60 to become a victim of financial fraud.

“It’s an epidemic,” said Steve Benton with The Senior Source in Dallas. “And it’s only getting worse.”

Benton said 10% of clients at the agency have been subjected to financial fraud. They launched a Financial Safety Center several years ago to address it.

More than 60% of their cases are family related, and most are never reported.

In a report last month, the FBI found there were 6,342 Texans over 60 who were victims of fraud in 2020. The state ranked only behind California and Florida.

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