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Florida woman loses $40,000 in lottery ticket scam

Topic closed. 25 replies. Last post 8 years ago by grengrad.

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curt777's avatar - pacman
Palatine, IL
United States
Member #734
September 24, 2002
61 Posts
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Posted: December 6, 2008, 12:17 pm - IP Logged

I think the most interesting part of this story and these particular scams in general is that these people just picked this random woman at a grocery store, and she actualy had $40K available to withdraw!!!  I mean, what are the chances of that ??  I suppose if she only had $10K to withdraw they would've taken that, but 40 large is one hell of a score!  It's mind-numbing to think that you would just had over all that cash to complete stangers, even if you thought it was a legitimate winning ticket, who just instantly gets conned within a few hours like that ?  I'm scared to get old now!!  Although I've only got $132.14 in the bank at the moment...  Thud

-Curt Little Lotto King

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    Michigan
    United States
    Member #59293
    March 12, 2008
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    Posted: December 6, 2008, 5:24 pm - IP Logged

    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.

    I wish somebody would have the nerve to do a scam on me like this. I would make sure my baseball bat in the car would get in good use before calling the police.

      RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
      mid-Ohio
      United States
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      Posted: December 6, 2008, 6:09 pm - IP Logged

      I wish somebody would have the nerve to do a scam on me like this. I would make sure my baseball bat in the car would get in good use before calling the police.

      These types of scams are only pulled on old folks with savings, save your money and when you get old maybe you'll have your chance.

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

        Bondi Junction
        Australia
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        December 24, 2007
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        Posted: December 6, 2008, 11:11 pm - IP Logged

        Greed turns peoples brains into mush!

          Bondi Junction
          Australia
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          December 24, 2007
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          Posted: December 6, 2008, 11:16 pm - IP Logged

          This story makes the case why state lotteries are a good thing. People may not agree with gambling, but if didn't have legal, regulated state lotteries, we would have more scams. At least the revenue raised by state lotteries benefits the residents of the state.

            justxploring's avatar - villiarna
            Wandering Aimlessly
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            November 5, 2005
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            Posted: December 6, 2008, 11:51 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...

            I can bet the teller asked her and she said it was a private matter.  However, it's not the bank's business to stop any depositor from withdrawing money.   Believe me, Bank United doesn't want anyone to take out one dime and the manager will talk to you if you start pulling all your money out, since they're #1 on the list of regional banks predicted to fail.  So I'm sure a lot of nervous people are cashing out.  Still, if it's your money, you can do anything you want with it.

            I feel badly for this woman, but she committed a crime. 

             

            Anyone can claim a lottery prize.  You don't have to be a U.S. Citizen.  However, you do have to be in this country legally.   If she was cashing a lottery ticket for an illegal alien (which is what she thought) she was breaking the law.


              justxploring's avatar - villiarna
              Wandering Aimlessly
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              Posted: December 7, 2008, 12:06 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.

              Sorry - didn't see this post.   Yes, exactly.   They have no right to question you but, as I wrote above, the teller usually asks if there is a problem.  It's happened to me, but I've never walked into a bank and asked for $40,000 cash!

              By the way, if she is in her 70s and has $40,000 in the bank, it doesn't mean she's rich.  That's not a lot of money to have if you're retired.

              Also, you are wrong about the money not earning interest.  You don't know that.   She could have had a liquid CD or a savings account with interest.  Last time I checked their money market account was earning 3.5%.

              Just want to add a note:

              72 is not elderly to me.

                sirbrad's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                PA
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                Posted: December 7, 2008, 10:35 pm - IP Logged

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

                I was making a point. It doesn't matter who you are, where, or age, no one can question your withdrawals.

                  sirbrad's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                  PA
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                  Posted: December 7, 2008, 10:39 pm - IP Logged

                  Sorry - didn't see this post.   Yes, exactly.   They have no right to question you but, as I wrote above, the teller usually asks if there is a problem.  It's happened to me, but I've never walked into a bank and asked for $40,000 cash!

                  By the way, if she is in her 70s and has $40,000 in the bank, it doesn't mean she's rich.  That's not a lot of money to have if you're retired.

                  Also, you are wrong about the money not earning interest.  You don't know that.   She could have had a liquid CD or a savings account with interest.  Last time I checked their money market account was earning 3.5%.

                  Just want to add a note:

                  72 is not elderly to me.

                  I am not wrong, I never said she specifically did or didn't earn interest. I said that a bank has no right to question you if you withdraw money from an account, especially if it is not locked up in an interest bearing account. Then they can because you agreed to leave a certain amount in for a certain amount of time.

                   

                  If a teller asked me if there was a problem, I would say well there will be if I don't get the moeny I want out. That is just their way of being nosy.

                    DC81's avatar - batman39
                    MI
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                    August 31, 2007
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                    Posted: December 8, 2008, 2:14 pm - IP Logged

                    Yeah, good thing the bank teller at her bank, where the tellers probably know her if she's a regular, wasn't being nosy (we don't know if they said anything at all) in this case (notice how I said "this case"). They would have only saved this woman from losing $40,000 to this scam, but hey maybe she withdraws a large amount of money regularly so it wasn't a big deal, whatever. Maybe she deserved to lose it for falling for such an obvious scam.

                    You can't predict random.

                      grengrad's avatar - nw rogue.jpg
                      Raleigh
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                      January 17, 2007
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                      Posted: December 8, 2008, 3:25 pm - IP Logged

                      Obviously, the scammers should be jailed, but the elderly woman is also guilty!

                      1. She was going to help an ILLEGAL immigrant collect money.

                      2. She no doubt expected some of the money for herself.

                      Greed and a disregard for the law, and we should feel sorry for her?

                       

                       

                      As for withdrawing money from the bank...

                      The last time I went to the bank and withdrew a large sum, they asked me why, and I told them I was going to Vegas.

                      They told me, "good luck."

                      The bank does not care how you use YOUR money, unless you tell them you are using it to hire a hitman.