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Spanish-speaking victims are target of lottery scam

June 15, 2011 |  9:40 am

Suspect's Wanted for Lotto2 copy Police were searching Wednesday for a trio of con artists convincing Spanish speakers in the Harbor area to trade their valuables for what turn out to be dud “winning” Lotto tickets.

The three suspects have approached Spanish speakers in Harbor City, Wilmington and San Pedro with the claim they have a winning California lottery ticket.

The problem, the con artists explain, is they cannot cash the ticket in themselves because they are undocumented.

They offer to share the winnings, as long as the victims redeem the tickets on their behalf and leave behind something of value, commonly cash or jewelry.

In each case, the victims lost their items and learned there were no actual winning tickets.

Police believe the ruse started in January, striking most recently last week.

All three suspects are believed to be Latino -- a man and a woman in their 20s and another man in his 40s.

Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at (310) 726-7900 or anonymously at (800) 222-8477.


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Images: Composite sketches of two of the three suspects in the Lotto scam. Credit: Los Angeles Police Department