Duped couple yet to pay off debts

By Don Farmer of the Wairarapa Times-Age -
Bev and Trevor Oliver at the front door of their Willowpark Drive home. Photo / Wairarapa Times-Age
Bev and Trevor Oliver at the front door of their Willowpark Drive home. Photo / Wairarapa Times-Age

An elderly Masterton couple who fell victim to overseas lottery scammers are yet to pay back any money borrowed from multiple friends and acquaintances, or to sell their house as promised more than six months ago.

Bev and Trevor Oliver exhausted their own savings and borrowed thousands of dollars to pay into an online Ghanaian scam, believing they would had won a lottery and would collect more than €850,000 ($1.3 million).

In July, the couple finally conceded they had been duped and declared they would have to sell their $500,000-plus home to pay back their debts.

But last week Mr Oliver admitted none of the people they had borrowed from have received any money back.

He also confirmed the house was not yet on the market, although he said real estate firms had been to the house and had appraised it.

Mr Oliver said he and his wife had settled on a firm to list the house with and that it would have to go on the market "fairly soon" so they could clear all their debts.

He said they "might have" approached people for yet more cash since they last spoke to the Times-Age last year.

He said he had now accepted there was no lottery win but "Bev still has her hopes".

His wife would like to think the money would come through and they would be able to get out of the financial mire they are in, he said.

Two of the people the Olivers hit up for loans confirmed to the Times-Age they had not yet been paid back, despite requests for repayment.

One, from Masterton, had loaned Mr and Mrs Oliver $6000 and the other, an elderly Martinborough woman, $7000.

The Martinborough woman said she had confronted the Olivers and had told them the money she had loaned them was her funeral savings.

The Masterton woman said that just before Christmas she had spoken with Mrs Oliver and was astonished to be told Mrs Oliver still believed the big lottery win was "on its way".

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