Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Woman loses $4,500 to lottery scam

TEMPLE TERRACE — Police called for the public's help Thursday in identifying two women they say conned another woman out of $4,500 this month after assuring her they had won $250,000 in the Florida Lottery.

On Aug. 13, two Hispanic females asked a woman at a shopping center on 56th Street for a ride to an immigration office in the area, police said.

On the way, one woman told the victim she had recently won the lottery but couldn't cash the ticket because she was an undocumented immigrant.

Detective Carlos Lopez said the women told the victim they knew someone who could skirt officials and cash the ticket even though they weren't citizens, but they had to put up a significant amount of "good faith" money to prove the ticket was legitimate.

They told the woman they had several thousand dollars but needed more. They asked her for $25,000. She offered $4,500, which she withdrew from her Bank of America account and put in an envelope.

The women put the envelope in the victim's glove compartment "for safekeeping," Lopez said, which is when "the switch" probably occurred. When the woman retrieved the envelope later, it contained only scraps of cutup newspaper, and the two women were gone.

The first one is described as a Hispanic, 20 to 30 years old, 5 feet to 5 feet 5, 110 to 120 pounds, with a slender build, brown hair and brown eyes. Police said she was wearing a beige blouse, beige pants and a beige baseball cap.

The second woman is described as a 20- to 30-year-old Hispanic, 5 feet to 5 feet 3, 130 to 140 pounds, with a medium build and brown hair with blond streaks. Police said she was wearing a white blouse, blue jeans and a gold bracelet on her right wrist.

The two are wanted on charges of grand theft and a scheme to defraud. Lopez said he does not know if there are other victims.

"Usually when people do this, they do it constantly. There may be other victims out there who haven't stepped forward," Lopez said. "Victims get embarrassed at the fact of, 'Hey, I got taken,' you know?"

Anyone with information is asked to call Lopez at (813) 989-7049.

Woman loses $4,500 to lottery scam 08/28/08 [Last modified: Friday, August 29, 2008 4:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jack Latvala can win


    From today's column:

  2. Forecast: Isolated showers to start along the coast before pushing inland


    Tampa Bay residents can expect isolated showers mainly along the coast this morning before they push inland this afternoon.

    Tampa Bay's 7-day forecast [WTSP]
  3. Rick Scott for President?


    Reubin Askew tried. So did Bob Graham. And Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. When you've shown an ability to win statewide elections in America's biggest swing state, you're almost automatically a credible contender for president.

    Rick Scott
  4. The next step in a sex abuse survivor's recovery: Erasing her tattoo


    TAMPA — Even after 20 years, Sufiyah can't escape the memories of being sexually exploited by gang members as a teenager.

    The tattoo makes it impossible.

    Sufiyah, an aAbuse survivor, prepares to have a tattoo removed  at Tampa Tattoo Vanish  on Thursday. During her teen years, she was sexually exploited by a gang. The tattoo is a mark of her exploiters. 

Tampa Tattoo Vanish is a new tattoo removal business run by Brian Morrison, where survivors of human trafficking get free tattoo removal.  [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
  5. Good to be bad? Dirk Koetter's call for bold, brash Bucs


    Is being a badass team all about swagger and toughness? "Our whole thing is about competing," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter says. (Loren Elliott | Times)