Two Simi Valley women are the latest victims of a lottery scam in which a person pretending to have a winning ticket pitches a bogus story about needing help to cash it in, police said Saturday.
The cases are the fourth and fifth in Ventura County since mid-July, and detectives believe a man and two female accomplices are responsible for all five. The suspects speak Spanish and are targeting Spanish-speakers.
The trio are suspected to be part of a larger ring that is scamming people throughout the state, Simi Valley Police Sgt. Mike King said.
The most recent case occurred Wednesday when a woman in her 60s was cheated out of $16,000 after being approached in the Mervyn’s parking lot on Cochran Street.
Two women persuaded the victim to pay money up front in exchange for part of the proceeds of a $64-million ticket, King said. On Nov. 6, a woman described as in her 30s was shopping at a Goodwill store at Los Angeles Avenue and Sinaloa Road when she was approached by one of the female suspects.
Believing she would receive a cut from a $30-million winning ticket, the victim handed over $3,200 in cash that she took out of her bank account after being approached, King said.