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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

Woman Latest Victim of Lottery Scam

November 25, 1998|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

VENTURA — An elderly woman has become the latest victim of a lottery scam in which a person pretending to have a winning ticket pitches a bogus story about needing help to cash it in, police said Tuesday.

The case is the sixth in Ventura County since mid-July, and detectives believe a man and two female accomplices are responsible for all six. The three speak Spanish and are targeting Spanish-speaking victims, authorities said.

The most recent case occurred about noon Tuesday when a Ventura woman was cheated out of $10,000 after being approached in a shopping center parking lot in the 1700 block of Victoria Avenue, Ventura Police Sgt. Bob Velez said.

The victim was persuaded to pay money up front in exchange for part of the proceeds of a winning ticket. After the victim confirmed the winning numbers with a call to an office manned by one of the accomplices, she withdrew the cash from her bank.

The largest dollar loss occurred Nov. 11 when a woman handed over $16,000 after being approached in the Mervyn's parking lot on Cochran Street in Simi Valley. The victim believed she would be sharing the proceeds from a $64-million ticket.

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