Crimes of Persuasion

Schemes, scams, frauds.

Latin Lotto Confidence Scam

Latin Lotto Street Scam using Fake Lottery Ticket

Two Hispanic males, along with a Hispanic female, have been involved in numerous "Latin Lotto Scams" in New York in which victims have lost over $96,000.

One will target a victim, then convince you that he holds a winning lottery ticket but can not cash it, as he is an illegal immigrant.

The other will approach and offer assistance to the two persons involved (victim and suspect).

He will convince you to either purchase the lottery ticket or cash it in for the other suspect.

So believable is the tale that you forget it is easy to verify winning tickets at any lottery retailer, including grocery and convenience stores.

The suspects will usually take the victim to his bank to obtain funds to buy the ticket at a discount and then quickly exchange the worthless ticket for your money.

One will then fake a sudden sickness and ask you to go into a store to obtain medicine for them, while they rest.

Once you are out of the vehicle, usually a rental, the two suspects will flee, leaving you  feeling sick for real.

Elsewhere, two women in Florida recently lost $14,000 in the scam.

Manuela Sanchez, 26, was conned out of $9,000 by a Hispanic woman who pulled the scam on her while Dalys Baum, 57, was scammed out of $5,000 by a Hispanic man who also claimed to have a winning lottery ticket.

No arrests have been made in either case.

Women lose tens of thousands in latin lotto scam claiming to have winning lottery tickets

10/03 - (California) - Con artists have used a lottery scam to bilk tens of thousands of dollars from two women over the past two days, Salinas police say.

In both cases, police say the con artists claim to have winning lottery tickets and offer the victims a cut of the fortune -- after they put up their own cash as a sign of good faith.

They say it's unclear whether the crimes are related.

"This is a classic," said Terry Spitz, chief assistant Monterey County district attorney. "We've been hearing of this, or variations of it, for years."

Salinas police offered the following accounts:

The first rip-off took place about 4:25 p.m. Wednesday on the 1000 block of North Davis Road.

The 62-year-old victim, who was in the parking lot of Orchard Supply Hardware, was approached by a woman who claimed she'd won the lottery.

She claimed to need help redeeming her ticket, saying she was from Costa Rica and in the country illegally. She said she needed to find an attorney.

The woman then was joined by a man who volunteered to help. The woman produced the lottery ticket with a phone number on the back.

The man called the number and passed the phone to the victim. She heard the voice of a man on the other end who was posing as a lottery official.

He said the winner needed to produce identification and two witnesses to claim the winnings.

For her to help, they told the victim she needed to show they could trust her and put up $25,000.

For her trouble, she'd get $3,000 of the winnings.

The victim only withdrew $20,000 from her bank account, and the woman swindler volunteered to supply the remaining $5,000.

All the money was supposed to be put into a bag for the victim to hang onto.

The second scam happened about 2:15 p.m. Thursday near Factory 2-U on the 1500 block of North Main Street.

An older man approached a 42-year-old shopper and told her he had a winning ticket.

Another customer then offered to go in halves to redeem it.

The victim was taken to her bank, where she withdrew a large, unspecified sum of cash. She then was asked to hold an envelope containing everybody's money.

They asked her then to go into a store and buy some other items, and when she looked inside the envelope, she found a rolled-up newspaper.

When she returned to the parking lot, the scammers were gone.

"If (folks) are approached by people with something that's too good to be true, it's just that," Gerhardstein said. "They should call us immediately."

The man on the phone told the victim she needed to purchase some stamps at the post office before to going to San Jose to claim the prize.

After she was dropped off at the post office, the suspects fled with the $20,000 in a newer gold, four-door Chevy sedan.

The woman was left holding the bag, literally. Inside was nothing but folded up paper.

"It works on people's sense of being able to get something for free," Salinas police Sgt. Terry L. Gerhardstein said of the scam. "You get nothing for free."

The woman swindler appeared to be 30-35 years old, 5-foot-7, with black hair and brown eyes. The man appeared to be 40-45 years old, 5-foot-5, 200 pounds, with black and gray hair.

Anyone with information about two lottery scams this week is asked to call Salinas police at 758-7250

(The Californian)

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

02/04 - A 59-year-old Texan woman was conned out of $5,000 by two people who approached the woman and said they needed help cashing a lottery ticket.

The victim was shopping at a store on Main Street in Lewisville when a woman told the victim that she was from out of town and looking for the offices of Christian Community Action (CCA) to help her find an apartment.

A man working in connection with the woman also was shopping nearby and joined the conversation.

The female suspect went on to say that she was from Peru and staying locally with people who weren't American citizens, and she wouldn't need CCA's help to find an apartment if she could cash a winning lottery ticket.

She said the winning ticket was good for $200,000, but that she couldn't cash it because she wasn't a U.S. citizen.

The male then offered to call and check on how they could claim the ticket.

The person on the phone then said that it could be claimed by sending in a $10,000 bond for each of the two people who would be claiming the ticket, Douglass said.

The perpetrators agreed to contribute $15,000 to the effort, and the victim said she would give the remaining $5,000.

The three then drove to the bank in the victim's car to get the money out.

The male suspect handed the victim a sealed bank envelope, which was put with the victim's money, and the female suspect's cash into a mailing envelope.

They decided to drive to the post office, but on the way the male suspect said he needed to stop at a local grocery store, which they did.

After some time, the female suspect said she would go and find him, and left the car with the mailing envelope and money.

Latin lottery ticket scam takes third Spanish victim for $6,000

By Layla Bohm - News-Sentinel Staff Writer

04/23/04 - CA - A Stockton woman has become the third to tell Lodi police that she was the victim of a lottery scam that bilks thousands of dollars from older, Hispanic women.

The 74-year-old woman, whom police Detective Leo Ramirez did not identify because the woman is embarrassed, was so convinced by the deal that she gave the suspects $6,000.

The woman, Ramirez said, was shopping in Wal-Mart when a Hispanic woman approached her, asking for directions to a local store.

The victim had never heard of the store, but the suspect kept asking.

Then a man appeared, saying he knew of the business. In the process, the suspect woman said she had a secret: She had a winning $33,000 lottery ticket, but couldn't cash it in because she was an undocumented resident.

She and the man convinced the victim to "go halves" with the man to buy the lottery ticket, then cash it in, Ramirez said.

So the woman went to her bank, withdrew $6,000, and gave it to the people. They convinced her they needed to go to another store, and when the victim went in the store, the other two people vanished -- with her money.

What the victim didn't know was that California State Lottery rules dictate that anyone may cash in a ticket, regardless of residency.

And, the victim also didn't know that she's not the first Hispanic woman to be targeted in Lodi. Ramirez is still investigating two similar cases, and he thinks there may be more.

In each case, the victims and suspects spoke Spanish, and there were at least two suspects -- though the male suspect arrived later and pretended he did not know the other suspect, Ramirez said.

Police warn of local winning number lottery scam

05/28/04 - CA - Authorities are asking area residents to be on the alert for a Hispanic man and woman who are using a lottery scam to bilk people out of large sums of money.

Officials say the couple approach people in parking lots and ask for assistance in cashing a winning lottery ticket.

The suspects reportedly say they cannot claim the prize because of their immigration status.

Over the past weeks, the couple have convinced a number of victims to withdraw large amounts of money from their bank or savings accounts.

The suspects then distracted the victims, took their cash and fled.

Officials are asking local residents to be aware of their surroundings when going to or from their vehicles.

Additionally, people are urged to use caution when accepting or offering assistance to strangers.

(The Porterville Recorder)

San Mateo police seek pair linked to winning number Latin lotto scam

01/06 - SAN MATEO - The San Mateo Police Department is searching for two people who have reportedly scammed several San Mateo County residents out of more than $50,000 by claiming to be the winners of a lottery, San Mateo Police Lt. Tom Daughtry said today.

Police report that the scam involves one person approaching Spanish-speaking elderly persons outside a retail store and telling them they won a lottery but that they need help cashing the winning ticket.

A second person often poses as a stranger who becomes involved in the scam in order to give it a greater sense of legitimacy, Daughtry reported.

The scammers then stage a phony call to a lottery official to confirm that the ticket is a winner, he said.

The scammers accompany the victim to another location, sometimes a bank, and promise to share their winnings with those willing to put up good-faith money.

Once the scammers have the victim's money they organize some type of distraction and leave the victim empty-handed, according to police.

In November 2005, a 68-year-old San Mateo woman was similarly defrauded of about $15,000, the department reported.

According to Daughtry, the pair have scammed about a half-dozen San Mateo County residents.

Bay City News Service

Latin Lotto Fake Winning Number Lottery Ticket Scam

05/06 - (New York) - Area residents are urged to be wary of tricksters playing confidence games in the 114th Police Precinct.

On Thursday, May 11, a complainant walked into the precinct on Astoria Boulevard South and 34th Street, stating she was approached by someone who was asking for help in finding an address.

This person then offered the victim a winning lottery ticket in exchange for money and jewelry.

The victim gave this person $580 in currency and approximately $30,000 in jewelry.

In return, she was given a bag that turned out to be full of paper. She later discovered the lottery ticket was a fraud.

Lottery Scam Pigeon Drop artists fleece woman

10/25/09 - A woman told police she was robbed by a man and woman at gunpoint but then changed her story because she was too embarrassed to tell the truth.

She said the truth was she was approached by a man outside Ross, 12680 W. Sunrise Blvd. in Sunrise, about 10 a.m. Oct. 2.

He said he was an ``illegal'' who was looking for a lawyer to write up papers that would allow him to collect his $20 million lottery prize.

A woman who happened to be passing by said she knew a lawyer but first she wanted to call a lottery official to verify the story.

The woman made the call but the victim never spoke to anyone and the man said he would need to pay a $50,000 lottery tax before the money was released.

The 65-year-old victim told police she drove her own car to the other woman's bank and the woman emerged with a large number of bills covered by a $100 bill. That was supposedly her $30,000 contribution.

The man told the victim she could use jewelry instead of cash to make up her share.

She drove them to her home and placed all her jewelry in the same bag as the other woman's money.

Then they drove to the Wal-Mart at Sunrise Boulevard and Pine Island Road.

The other woman said she was going in to buy stamps and paper and the man suddenly developed a stomach ache and asked the victim to buy him some pills while he stayed in the car.

When she returned to her car the man, the woman and the money were gone.

She waited for an hour but they never came back.

(Miami Herald)

More lottery scam info at:

Latin Lotto Scam Warning, Lottery Scams, Lotto Fraud, Nigerian Lottery Scams, Fake Lottery Tickets, Jamaican Lottery Scams.

Latin Lotto Scam Articles