LOS ANGELES (CNS) – California Lottery officials asked for the public’s
help today in identifying two con artists who persuaded a Los Angeles County
woman to give them $38,000 in cash for a bogus ticket they claimed was worth
It all started when the victim, whose name was not disclosed, was
approached in a parking lot by another woman, who told her she had a lottery
ticket worth about $500,000, but that she was unable to collect the winnings
because she was not a U.S. citizen.
The con game, known as the “Latin Lotto” scam, is a common one and
often targets people of Hispanic descent, but lottery officials did not find
out about it until the victim’s son wrote about it on the lottery’s Facebook
The victim told law enforcement officers the stranger told her she would
give her $40,000 if she helped her collect the $500,000 in winnings, lottery
officials said. About that time, someone posing as the suspect’s boyfriend or
husband shows up, and the woman pretends to call an attorney.
The victim is then told the attorney advised them to get at least
$40,000 in cash or valuables in exchange as collateral for the winning lottery
Once the two crooks had the woman convinced that the lottery ticket was
legitimate, the trio went to two Wells Fargo Bank branches, where the victim
withdrew a total of $38,000, and to a Macy’s, where the victim bought about
$500 worth of clothes for the woman.
Later, the suspects went to the woman’s home to see what else they might
get out of her. But that was also where the suspects were recorded on video.
Eventually, the suspects dropped the victim off at a stationery store to
buy paper to write to the supposed attorney handling the lottery winnings and
told the woman they were going to get stamps. That gave the crooks an
opportunity to abscond with the cash.
Anyone with more information as to the names or whereabouts of the suspects
was urged to call (800) 568-8379.
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