Santa Monica police are conducting a fraud investigation after a woman in the 1200 block of the Third Street Promenade was duped out of $4,000 in cash around 9 p.m. Monday, December 13th.
The woman told police that a man approached her and said that he was holding a winning lottery ticket, but was unable to claim his winnings because he was an illegal alien.
The man asked the victim if she would help him claim his winnings.
At this point, according to the victim, a second man approached the victim and pretended to provide assistance.
The first man told the victim that he would give her $10,000 if she helped him cash his winning ticket. He said that he first had to give the lottery commission $15,000 before they would cash his ticket.
The first man asked the victim if she had $15,000 and the victim responded by saying that she only had $4,000 in her bank account.
The second man said that he had $9,000 and would be willing to help.
The victim and the men went to the victim’s bank and the victim withdrew $4,000 in cash.
After getting the money from the victim, both men left and when they did not return, the victim called a friend and later called police.
One suspect is described as Hispanic, 52 years old, five feet four, 180 pounds, with gray hair, brown eyes and light complexion. He was wearing tan pants and a white jacket.
The second suspect is described as Hispanic, 35 years old, five feet seven, 140 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes, and dark complexion. He was wearing a dark suit.
Anyone with information relating to this incident is asked to call the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8491.
The Santa Monica Police Department asks residents to be cautious when someone asks for money in exchange for a prize, to purchase items not bought from a store, or to produce a large sum of cash to show good faith.
“Do not underestimate these criminals, because they can be very inventive and persuasive,” a Santa Monica Police statement warns. “Their game is to confuse or just plain trick you.”