Deputies are searching for a man and a woman who used a non-existent winning lottery ticket to defraud elderly Hispanic women out of thousands of dollars.
According to victims, the female suspect approached them while shopping at local grocery stores, identified herself as Francisca, and started conversation with them in Spanish.
She would tell them she had a friend who had a winning lottery ticket but was unable to cash it in because they weren’t a U.S. citizen. As they talked, the male suspect, known as Jose, would pretend to overhear the conversation and tell them of a way they could cash in the ticket.
The catch? The victims provide an initial sum of money to help get the ticket cashed in exchange for a larger portion of the winnings later.
Francisca and Jose would then drive the victims to different banks and homes across the county to gather cash. The SDSO said the amounts ranged from $2,500 to $10,000.
Once the money was handed over, the suspects would strand the victims in unknown locations.
Investigators believe the scam has been going on since 2015. Victims tend to be elderly Hispanic women in grocery stores or parking lots.
The victims tell deputies the suspects have accents that are not from Mexico.
The female suspect (Pictured above) is described as 40 to 65 years old, about 5 feet tall with a medium build, having dark hair and wearing glasses. The male suspect is described as about 40 years old, between 5 feet 3 inches and 5 feet 6 inches tall, with a heavy build and short black hair.
Anyone with information can call the SDSO’s Elder Abuse Unit at (858) 285-6111 or Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. Anonymous tips can also be made at www.sdcrimestoppers.org. Up to $1,000 is being offered for tips that lead to an arrest.