Man loses $100,000 in common investment scam

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- How would you like to invest in a company that provides cell phone service where no one has it? FOX6's Contact 6 says before you start dreaming of your millions, beware!

80-year-old Charles Betts is back at work -- transporting cattle again after he lost more than $100,000 of his savings in an investment scam.

"I ain't got nothing left. I expected to not be working at all, but with all the things that happened," Betts said.

Betts invested money in a wireless communications network called EPCOM.

The company's goal was to cover the gaps in cellular service that the big companies were not providing.

Betts, along with 500 others, put $7 million into the project. The problem: no cell towers were ever built, and the investors lost everything.

"Financial ruin, devastation - these were farmers, retired individuals who did not have the ability to just go back to work and recoup their losses," U.S. Postal Inspector Robert Strande said.

Postal inspectors began tracking the case and arrested Eldon Anderson as the mastermind.

"He would say if you don't get in now, you are going to lose an opportunity to invest and make a lot of money," Strande said.

Victims fell for the false sense of urgency Anderson created.

Some advice from postal inspectors: when considering investments, take your time and ask a lot of questions.

"Constantly ask questions, ask for information. If they are being evasive or if they are not giving any answers at all - be suspect of that. Walk away," Strande said.

Anderson -- the ring leader of this scam is now in federal prison, serving an eight-year sentence.