Action13

Residents warned to beware lottery scam

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

An elderly Stafford woman was conned out of thousands of dollars after being approached at a grocery store. The woman was asked if she could help a lottery winner claim a prize, but it was all just a charade.

The woman just wanted to help someone out, but ended up falling for what police call a lottery scam, and now that victim is out $15,000.

The trouble started inside a Walmart in Stafford. That's where a 72-year-old woman says she was approached by a younger woman who needed help.

Mary said, "This lady comes to me and asked if I know where this house is that help people without papers."

Mary asked us to conceal her identity. She tells us the woman who approached her claimed to have a winning lottery ticket and she need help getting the money.

"She said I have this winning lotto ticket and I need help with it," Mary explained.

Mary says at that point a second woman broke into the conversation and offered to help as well. Both women were told they needed to get $15,000 each from their bank to help the lottery winner claim her prize. Mary drove the group to her bank first.

Mary said, "I drew out $15,000."

Before going to the second woman's bank, the lottery ticket holder and that second woman asked Mary to pull into a grocery store parking lot.

Mary recalled, "She said, 'I am going to put your money here in the glove compartment.'"

Mary says after two hours of waiting she decided to go home and when she checked the money left behind in the glove box, it was not there.

"It was two newspapers," she said.

Mary then went to the Stafford police, and while an investigation is underway, Mary was told there is little officers can do to get her money back. What happened to Mary is a warning to all seniors and their loved ones, according to Katherine Cabaniss at Crime Stoppers.

"This is a crime," she said. "This is a swindle that is going around right now and that conmen come in all packages. In this case it was two women that did not look like they would be ripping someone off."

At this point the investigation has only just started. The only description of the suspects is that both were Hispanic women -- one younger and one a little bit older.

(Copyright ©2014 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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stafford, action13, jeff ehling
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