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Latin Lotto Scam Con Artists Arrested

04/02/04 - California - ( ) San Jose police have arrested a pair of alleged con artists who may be part of a rash of lottery scams that have singled out Latinos in the South Bay and on the Peninsula.

Officers arrested Ruth Burgos-Rivera, 44, and Carlos Serrano, 25, both of Miami Beach, Fla., in East San Jose on Monday morning after receiving a call from a woman who told police the pair were trying to obtain money from her elderly father, police said.

Detective Fred Mills said the suspects already had taken $15,000 from the Spanish-speaking man when they returned for more money Monday morning.

Mills said there have been about 12 similar cases in the past year in San Jose and several others in Mountain View, San Mateo and Salinas. He said investigators are trying to determine if Burgos-Rivera and Serrano are suspects in the other scams.

Both suspects were arraigned on charges of fraud, grand theft and elder abuse and remain in county jail on $100,000 bail each.

Winning number lottery scam costs Greenlawn woman $7,000

01/08 - NY - The title of a Wednesday news release from Suffolk County police detectives says it all: "Lottery scam still raking in victims."

Now Second Squad detectives have released a bank surveillance photo of a man they say is one of a group of con artists who tricked a Greenlawn woman into handing over $7,000.

The detectives are asking the public's help in tracking down the alleged scammer, who is shown in the photo at a bank teller's window.

The swindle revolved around a purported $340 million lottery ticket that turned out, of course, to be bogus.

It started at 3 p.m. on Jan. 7 when the Greenlawn woman, 21, was waiting for a bus on Jericho Turnpike in Commack. She was approached by a woman who asked for directions, and as they talked a small maroon car stopped nearby. Inside the car were another woman and a man, who started a conversation with the first woman.

At this point, the trap was laid.

"The first woman had a piece of paper in her hand and said it was a winning lottery ticket worth $340 million. The woman said she needed to pay $15,000 in taxes in order to pick up the cash," a Second Squad detectives' report said.

"The man said he could raise $8,000 and asked if the victim could get the other $7,000," the report said.

"The woman with the ticket agreed to split the $340 million with them. They drove to the Astoria Savings Bank in Huntington and withdrew the $7,000."

The victim gave the money to the man, and that's the last she saw of her cash -- or of the three swindlers, who immediately drove off, police said.

The man in the photo was described as in his 40s, about 5 feet 7 inches, with a heavy build.

Police Beat: NY - 05/06 - 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.

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