Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Lotto Scam Targets Spanish-Speaking Victims In Harbor City, Wilmington & San Pedro

Credit: Los Angeles Police Department
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

A duo of con-artists have been duping Spanish-speaking victims in the Harbor City, Wilmington, and San Pedro communities with a Lotto scam since January, according to a Los Angeles Police Department release. Six victims have fallen prey, and detectives are cautioning the public to "beware of strangers approaching them and claiming to have a winning lottery ticket."

Beginning on January 12, 2011, at about 1:30 p.m., through June 8, 2011, 3:15 p.m., a group of con-artists have been working together targeting lone victims with the claim that they are in possession of a winning California State Lottery ticket. The suspects explain that they are unable to cash in the ticket because they are in the country illegally. They offer to share the winnings of the lottery ticket if the victim will present themselves as the winner of the ticket to the State Lottery Authority. The victim is required to provide the suspects with something of value, (cash or jewelry), for the suspect’s “protection.” Once the victim delivered the good faith money or jewelry they discovered that there was no actual winning lottery ticket.

The suspected scammers are described as a Hispanic female and male. The female is in her twenty’s and the male in his forty’s. Anyone with information about these crimes or suspects are asked to call Harbor Area Detectives at 310-726-7900.