Detectives are searching for two suspects accused of targeting elderly San Diegans with a lottery scam that has helped them steal thousands of dollars from their victims.
According to the San Diego Police Department, the scam involves and unknown man and woman who have tricked at least four victims, all of them elderly Hispanic females.
Here’s how it works: One of the suspects contacts a victim and tells them in Spanish that they have a winning lottery ticket worth millions of dollars. The suspect then tells the victim that they are an undocumented immigrant from Costa Rica and therefore cannot claim the lottery prize.
The second suspect then steps in, acting as a stranger, and offers to help by claiming the prize and paying the fake fees. The second suspect then convinces the victim to contribute money for the fees in exchange for a portion of the winnings.
In one case, investigators said the suspect actually drove the victim back to their home so they could get cash. While at the residence, the suspects stole cash and jewelry.
To date, the scammers have managed to steal $52,000 from their four victims. They remain at large.
On Wednesday, police released images of the male suspect in hopes of finally identifying him.
The man is described as Hispanic, 30 to 40 years old, 5-foot-3 to 5-foot-7, with a heavy build and light complexion. He has dark hair and speaks Spanish.
His female companion is described as Hispanic, 30 to 35 years old, 5-foot-3 to 5-foot-7 with a heavy build and light complexion. She has dark hair and also speaks Spanish.
Police said the suspect’s vehicles include an unknown-make white station wagon or SUV and an unknown-make, blue, four-door sedan.
Anyone with information on the identity of whereabouts of the suspects should contact the SDPD’s Elder Abuse Unit at (619) 446-1070 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.