A FAMILY who thought they'd scooped £1million on the lottery ended up homeless with thousands of pounds worth of debt.
Taurai Amani, 71, took out a loan for a new house for him and his family believing he was due the massive windfall.
But he had been tricked by cruel scammers and ended up losing everything.
The nightmare began when crooks texted Taurai's son to say they'd won big in an online competition in the UK.
He said: “I felt the Gods had answered my prayers of owning a bigger house for my family.”
He began planning to upgrade his two-bed home for his children and grandchildren so they could live like millionaires in Beitbridge, Zimbabwe.
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The tricksters then asked for a £1,600 deposit to claim the prize.
In a flustered haze of excitement he borrowed the money and sent his son to make the payment.
However, he soon started to feel uneasy when the con artists demanded an extra £800.
When he began to sense something wasn't right Mr Amani sought help from the police, and that was when he discovered he had been wickedly deceived.
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Now he was left with no prize and was thousands out of pocket which he could not afford to pay back to the money lender.
His house was seized as collateral and the Amani family were evicted last week following a court order, according to The Zimbabwe Herald.
The dismal situation has caused locals to rally together to raise enough money to pay off the lender and give Mr Amani and his family back their home.
A neighbour said: "This is very unfortunate, we are now mobilising money so that we can repay the debt which now stands at $4,000 (£3,229) because of interest".
He added: "Our plan is to raise the money within the shortest time possible.
"Indications are that if we raise the money, he will give them back the house, but for now they are locked outside and have nowhere to go."
Mr Amani's wife, Meresina, 65, described being devastated but also grateful to the community.
She said: "We had looked forward to owning a better house and now we are homeless because of this scam, we have lost the two-roomed house we had known as our home for most of our adult life."
Mr Amani warned others to be cautious when buying or responding to messages online to avoid a similar situation.
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