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Florida woman loses $40,000 in lottery ticket scam

Insider BuzzInsider Buzz: Florida woman loses $40,000 in lottery ticket scam

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. — A South Florida elderly woman was scammed out of thousands of dollars in an alleged lottery ticket scam, police said.

Pembroke Pines police said that on Oct. 24 Aydee Suarez-Ospina, 72, was approached by the a Hispanic man and woman at the Bravo Supermarket at 12141 Pembroke Road. Police said the man told Suarez-Ospina that he was in possession of a winning lottery ticket and needed assistance in claiming the prize because he was not a U.S. citizen.

The female suspect, pretending to overhear the conversation, approached and offered her assistance, police said.

The two convinced Suarez-Ospina that the lottery ticket was real and that she would have to sponsor the male suspect with $40,000 to win $78,000, according to police.

Suarez-Ospina then drove the two to her bank, Bank United at 17011 Miramar Pkwy, where she withdrew $40,000, police said.

After leaving the bank, the man pretended to be ill and when Suarez-Ospina stopped at a store to purchase medicine, both suspects fled from the area with the victim's money.

Suarez-Ospina was left with an envelope containing shredded paper, police said.

According to police, the scam is a common scenario referred to as the "pigeon drop," where the suspects work in pairs and befriend the unsuspecting citizen, the "pigeon," claiming to have either a large sum of money or a winning Lotto ticket.

Immigration status is the common reason used for not being able to claim the prize. As the first suspect is talking with the victim, the second suspect approaches and gets involved, police said.

One of the suspects will go to a phone and call a lawyer or a lottery official to further convince the victim. With the confirmation, the victim contributes money as well as the suspect by putting the money into a bag or envelope.

The victim is usually allowed to hold the bag, however a switch is made and the victim is left with a bag of blank or shredded paper.

Police are warning residents, especially if they are elderly, to be watchful of such schemes and not go with anyone promising lottery winnings.

Residents should report any fraud, scam, rip-off or suspicious activity to their local law enforcement agency.

Police said the Hispanic man is between 30 and 35 years old. He is approximately 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighs about 120 pounds and has brown hair. He was last seen wearing a beige shirt and black pants.

The Hispanic woman is between 25 and 30 years old. She is approximately 5 fee six inches, weighs 160 pounds and has brown hair.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Pembroke Pines Police Department Detective Bureau at 954-431-2225 or call Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

NBC6

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25 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by grengrad.
Page 1 of 2
RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
mid-Ohio
United States
Member #9
March 24, 2001
19825 Posts
Offline
Posted: December 5, 2008, 6:26 pm - IP Logged

I've read about similar scams several times before in LP news.

Elderly NJ man victim of lottery scam
http://www.lotterypost.com/news/96427

Elderly Woman Loses $10,000 In Lottery Scam
http://www.lotterypost.com/news/84667

Woman loses $2,800 in lottery scam
http://www.lotterypost.com/news/82656

Any more in this country, every time someone asks for your money, it's likely they are trying to scam you.

 * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
   
             Evil Looking       

    DC81's avatar - batman39
    MI
    United States
    Member #54830
    August 31, 2007
    985 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: December 5, 2008, 6:33 pm - IP Logged

    I can't believe the bank just let her withdraw that much, just like that and all in cash??? Certainly someone at the bank would have at least asked why one would take out 40K in cash just like that...

    You can't predict random.

      JackpotWanna's avatar - squiz

      United States
      Member #4121
      March 23, 2004
      817 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: December 5, 2008, 7:16 pm - IP Logged

      I can't believe the bank just let her withdraw that much, just like that and all in cash??? Certainly someone at the bank would have at least asked why one would take out 40K in cash just like that...

      Ouch! That got to hurt!  I always tell my mom, when someone ask her for money, she has to tell them she has to contact her son!  This hopefully will scare them off. 

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #1
        May 31, 2000
        23261 Posts
        Online
        Posted: December 5, 2008, 7:17 pm - IP Logged

        I've read about similar scams several times before in LP news.

        Elderly NJ man victim of lottery scam
        http://www.lotterypost.com/news/96427

        Elderly Woman Loses $10,000 In Lottery Scam
        http://www.lotterypost.com/news/84667

        Woman loses $2,800 in lottery scam
        http://www.lotterypost.com/news/82656

        Any more in this country, every time someone asks for your money, it's likely they are trying to scam you.

        I agree.  Check the Related Stories box above for more.  Or so a Search for "Scam".

         

        Check the State Lottery Report Card
        What grade did your lottery earn?

         

        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

          Avatar
          Talking Rock, GA
          United States
          Member #60369
          April 15, 2008
          398 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: December 5, 2008, 8:10 pm - IP Logged

          *sigh*  It's unbelievable seeing the nerve of some people these days......scamming elderly people like that. Roll Eyes

          A Gold account on Lottery Post:  $4.95

          A Millionaire Jumbo Bucks scratcher:  $20

          Airfare and hotel in March 2007 to see The Price Is Right before Bob Barker retired:  $600-something

          Winning something to get a trip to a district office:  Priceless Big Grin

            ohiopick3's avatar - Lottery-063.jpg
            Ohio
            United States
            Member #3023
            December 14, 2003
            4166 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: December 5, 2008, 8:40 pm - IP Logged

            That is a terrible thing to happen to anyone! And right before Christmas!

            I hope that "5 foot 5 inch 120 pounder" gets his butt kicked really good by someone soon!

            Hopefully by his jailmates!

              charmed7's avatar - Lottery-013.jpg
              MICHIGAN
              United States
              Member #65282
              September 22, 2008
              1992 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: December 5, 2008, 8:50 pm - IP Logged

              The worlds dummiest criminals,  I think someone ask Todd to set-up

              a section for them.

                Think's avatar - lightbulb
                Marquette, MI
                United States
                Member #20541
                August 20, 2005
                705 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: December 5, 2008, 9:50 pm - IP Logged

                Proof again that if you are going to steal then you should steal billions.  Because if you steal $40,000 they will come for you and you will need to have your own money to bail yourself out.

                However if you steal $40,000,000,000 then they will send you bailout money and you can then spend time at a $5000 per day resort.

                 

                Seriously though the crooks probably are illegals in the first place.  They violated the law to get here so why should the law stop them after they are already here?

                Any bets that if they are caught they will just get deported?


                  United States
                  Member #58528
                  February 18, 2008
                  710 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: December 5, 2008, 9:54 pm - IP Logged

                  The worlds dummiest criminals,  I think someone ask Todd to set-up

                  a section for them.

                  I did.But I was talking about stupid criminals that got caught because of their greediness and stupidity.Storys like this where criminals take advantage of the elderly & the poor just break my heart.Anyone that would do this to an old woman,or man,deserves to be sentenced to hard time for a very long time!

                    mayan27's avatar - Lottery-009.jpg
                    Minnesota
                    United States
                    Member #2426
                    October 2, 2003
                    84 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: December 5, 2008, 10:22 pm - IP Logged

                    THESE SCAMS SHOULD BE BROADCASTED DAILY ON THE NEWS FOR CITIZENS NATION WIDE TO SEE LIKE CHRIS HANSON{NBC} "TO CATCH A PREDATOR".HOPE THEY GET CAUGHT SOON

                      DC81's avatar - batman39
                      MI
                      United States
                      Member #54830
                      August 31, 2007
                      985 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: December 5, 2008, 10:50 pm - IP Logged

                      That is a terrible thing to happen to anyone! And right before Christmas!

                      I hope that "5 foot 5 inch 120 pounder" gets his butt kicked really good by someone soon!

                      Hopefully by his jailmates!

                      This guy would be lucky if all they did was kick his backside.

                      You can't predict random.

                        DC81's avatar - batman39
                        MI
                        United States
                        Member #54830
                        August 31, 2007
                        985 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: December 5, 2008, 10:59 pm - IP Logged

                        *sigh*  It's unbelievable seeing the nerve of some people these days......scamming elderly people like that. Roll Eyes

                        I dunno if I'd say "these days". This sort of thing has been going on for decades. Cons and snake oil salesmen are always looking for their next mark, case in point, Kevin Trudeau is still out there hocking over priced books and ripping people off when he should be in prison. He recently received another nice smack down from the FTC and is going to eventually spar us from seeing his face for three years. Only thing is he bought a ton of ad time so his terrible infomercials are still going to be airing for awhile. Then there's that Klee guy shilling "colon health products", you know at least Trudeau puts some effort to look less like a sleaze bag. But that guy (with his wonderful BS info) has that stereotypical look of someone you shouldn't buy things from. Anyway, my point is that these kind people are pretty much everywhere, on the streets, on TV, on the internet, in Congress and they all rely upon the same old tactics, you really gotta watch yourself and not just buy into what anyone says, even family, which I'm sure many of us have that one relative (or two) that you always need to keep an eye on when they're around.

                        You can't predict random.

                          sirbrad's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                          PA
                          United States
                          Member #22983
                          October 6, 2005
                          2226 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: December 6, 2008, 12:32 am - IP Logged

                          I can't believe the bank just let her withdraw that much, just like that and all in cash??? Certainly someone at the bank would have at least asked why one would take out 40K in cash just like that...

                          It is none of their business. It is my money and no one has any right to question how much I take out. Especially if it is not earning interest. It must be nice to have $40,000 to withdraw on a whim.

                            DC81's avatar - batman39
                            MI
                            United States
                            Member #54830
                            August 31, 2007
                            985 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: December 6, 2008, 12:48 am - IP Logged

                            It is none of their business. It is my money and no one has any right to question how much I take out. Especially if it is not earning interest. It must be nice to have $40,000 to withdraw on a whim.

                            I didn't realize you were a 72 year old woman named Aydee Suarez-Ospina.

                            You can't predict random.