SCAM ALERT: Lottery scam targeting Winter Haven residents

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- The Winter Haven Police Department is warning about a lottery scam targeting residents.

Police have been alerted to two separate incidents involving a Hispanic woman and man in their early to mid-twenties.The male suspect is described as having dark-toned skin with curly black hair and about 5'9" tall. The female suspect is described as having light-toned skin with long black hair. She is around 5'9" tall with a black tattoo on her right shoulder. 

More pictures of the suspects:

In the first incident, the Hispanic woman tried to strike up a conversation about real estate with an elderly person at a Walmart located at 355 Cypress Gardens Blvd. in Winter Haven on Oct. 23. There was a language barrier issues, so the Hispanic man offered to step in and try to translate. 

The woman, through the translation, told the elderly person that she had a winning lottery ticket but could not claim it since she was an illegal citizen. After calling a number the man said was for the Florida Lottery office, he told the woman and elderly person the ticket was worth $500,000. He gave the phone over to the elderly person the phone to give their bank information, which is when the person became suspicious and walked away.

The second incident happened to a 58-year-old at the same Walmart on Friday, Nov. 17. The same Hispanic man from the first incident asked the victim about pet food before the female Hispanic suspect told the victim that she had a winning Florida lottery ticket worth $700,000 she wanted to cash. However, she was afraid to cash the ticket since she was not a legal citizen. 

She told the victim and the man she would share the reward money if they would pay her boss off, who knew her illegal citizen status, for $5,000. The victim said he would be able to get $1,700 and that the suspects would need to pay the rest. 

The victim left with the pair and gave the man and woman the $1,700. The woman started to complain about a stomachache, asking the victim to go inside and buy her juice to help her. He left his cell phone and the money in the vehicle with the suspects and walked back inside the Walmart.

When the victim walked back out, the suspects and their vehicle were gone. 

Anyone with information has been asked to call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477. There could be a cash reward of up to $3,000.

 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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