Monday, December 22, 2008

Woman Scammed Out Of Money

Collier County Sheriff’s investigators are looking for people they say swindled a 68-year-old Golden Gate Estates woman in a lottery scam.

Around 2:30 p.m. Monday a woman approached the victim, who was in her car at an East Naples Wal-Mart. The suspect claimed to be homeless and said she needed a ride to a local shelter. The suspect told the victim her name was Blanca.

A second suspect, who said his name was Raphael, then approached the women and offered to help. Both suspects entered the victim’s car. The man gave directions to a shelter.

Minutes later as they were driving, the female suspect told the victim she had a lottery ticket and needed to call the number on the back of the ticket to get information on how to cash it.

When they called the number on the ticket, the person on the phone said the ticket was worth $250,000. The person on the phone added that an illegal immigrant would not be eligible to claim the money.

In addition, the ticket holder would be required to show a large amount of money to prove that they had financial means, the person on the telephone said. At this point the female suspect promised the victim part of the winnings in exchange for the up-front money needed to claim the prize.

She had the victim drive to an East Naples Bank of America, where the victim withdrew an undisclosed amount of cash from her account as well as an advance on her credit card. The victim turned the money over to the suspects, who left with it.

The woman who said her name was Blanca is described as Hispanic, in her mid 50s with salt-and-pepper hair. She is 5 feet 6 inches tall. She was wearing a hat with a brim, glasses with rounded frames and a thin, light blue sweater.

The man who claimed to be Raphael is described as Hispanic, in his late 40s or early 50s, 5 feet 7 inches tall with a mole on his face. He was wearing a blue and tan striped dress shirt and khaki pants.

Anyone with information should call the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239-793-9300 or if you wish to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).

Cualquier persona con informaciòn debe llamar a La Oficina del Aguacil del Condado de Collier al 239-793-9300 o si desea seguir siendo anònimo llame a Crime Stoppers al 1800-780-Tips (8477).