FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JULY 10, 2014
CONTACT: LT. ERIC SKAJA / 760-839-4444
This is a public service announcement for the general public to be aware of a “lottery” scam which is occurring in the City of Escondido. The target area for the scam is currently E Valley Pkwy east of Ash St but please be aware the suspects in this case may easily move to a new area. Escondido police are actively investigating several similar cases.
The scam works as follows:
The victim is approached by a suspect, usually female and fluent in Spanish. The suspect claims to need help cashing a winning lottery ticket and needs money to pay taxes and fees. At some point during the contact a second suspect, usually male, approaches and offers to help. The male will contact a third accomplice on speaker phone who claims to be a lottery official and verifies that the ticket is a winner for millions and that the taxes and fees need to be paid for them to release the money.
The suspects then convince the victim to withdraw a large amount of money from the bank and give it to them with the promise that they will repay the victim four to five times their investment. After the victim gives the suspects their money, they disappear leaving the victim with no money and very little identification of the suspects.
If you are approached by anyone offering this type of scam, please do not try to “play along”. Tell them you are not interested in helping them and contact the Escondido Police Departmentt or your local agency immediately. Try to provide a good physical description and any vehicle information if you see one. If the crime is in progress or has just occurred, call 911 immediately. If the report of the crime is delayed, call 760-839-4722.
To report any suspicious activities in your neighborhood, you may contact the Police Department directly, or you may make an unidentified call on our Anonymous Tip Line at 760-743-TIPS (8477) or via our Web site at police.escondido.org. For breaking news releases, please follow the Escondido Police Department on Twitter at twitter.com/escondidopolice.