AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the scam, which has victimized people not just in the Antelope Valley but around the United States, Simon said. Because the investigation is under way, he said he could not say much other than detectives have leads on suspects. But the best approach is to avoid being conned in the first place. Any mailing that asks for money should be evaluated with “extreme prudence,” Simon said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LANCASTER – Legitimate-looking letters from an organization calling itself American Direct have conned thousands of dollars out of at least eight Antelope Valley residents who were told they won fake $250,000 lottery prizes, sheriff’s deputies say. The letters each contained a check for $4,800 – a purported advance from the winnings – but the victims were told to wire back $2,000 to cover insurance, handling and shipping of the full prize. After they sent the money, the victims found out the “advance” checks they got in the mail were not valid. “Unfortunately, lots of people are sending their money in to these people. We hope to get word out and stop any more people from losing their life savings,” said Deputy Kelly Simon, spokesman for the Lancaster sheriff’s station.