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VENTURA : Woman Loses $1,900 to Couple in Scam

An elderly Ventura woman lost $1,900 after falling victim to two con artists offering to share a portion of their winning lottery ticket, authorities said.

In a scheme familiar to law enforcement officials throughout the state, a man and woman approached the 69-year-old victim in the parking lot of a Camarillo shopping center on Thursday, asking her to help them cash a lottery ticket they claimed was worth $50,000.

The woman posed as the ticket holder while the man pretended to be a stranger approached randomly in the parking lot. Once the victim agreed to help cash the ticket, the couple persuaded her to withdraw money from her bank as a show of good faith before they split the lottery jackpot. All three then went to her bank, where the victim withdrew $1,900 in $100 bills. The woman then feigned an illness and asked the victim to buy medicine for her at a pharmacy. Just as she was entering the store, the victim realized she had left her money and purse with the man and woman. When she returned to the parking lot, they were gone.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Keith Lazz said investigators have no suspects, but are hoping to identify the con artists by surveillance photographs taken inside the victim’s bank.

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