Stuart Elvia Urieta had heard about scheme in which someone claims to be an undocumented immigrant who needs an American citizen -- and money to cash a winning lottery ticket.
So the 13-year Stuart resident was suspicious when a woman asked her for $29,000 to cash a ticket reportedly worth $325 million last weekend.
Urieta called authorities, who on Tuesday announced a rare arrest in one of the common lottery frauds.
"You know you can never find these people because they come and go so quick," said Sgt. Jenell Atlas of the Martin County Sheriff's Office. "It's a great, fabulous, wonderful turnout because the girl didn't lose her money and we got some of these guys."
Four Colombian nationals living in Jupiter, Opa-locka, and Miami Beach were arrested and charged with fraud, Atlas said.
Federal officials were called to help determine whether the four are in the United States legally.
Atlas said some such schemes, age-old but updated to the fit the times, are often perpetrated by Spanish speakers who target other Spanish speakers because of the familiarity.
Urieta, 28, told deputies she was approached Saturday outside the Big Lots at U.S. 1 and Monterey Road.
Later, Sheriff's detectives wired Urieta with a recorder and sent her to meet the suspect in a parking lot, according to a sheriff's report.
There, in a twist for deputies who were sitting in a surveillance van, the alleged crooks had their own backup in a nearby car. The lookouts flashed their lights to the suspects but it was too late.