September 30, 2005
The San Francisco Police Department is alerting the Spanish-speaking community to a series of lotto scams occurring in the Mission district and targeting elderly Spanish-speaking victims. The two suspects, a man and woman working together, claim that they have won a Latin lottery but cannot collect the winnings because of their immigration status. They enlist the aid of the victim, promising a share of the winnings if they put up good-faith money. The victims give over the money and then do not see the suspects again.
There have been six reported incidents since May, with the latest occurring on September 29 with a loss of $30,000 in that one incident alone. The locations where the scams have taken place have been at 16th/24th/26th /30th /Mission streets, Valencia and 15th streets, and in the September 29 incident, Mission and 22nd streets. The victims have stated that the suspects’ accents indicate that they are from San Salvador.
The victims have supplied the police department with their descriptions of the two suspects, and these descriptions have resulted in composite sketches, reflecting variations in the victims’ descriptions. The sketches are posted on the SFPD’s Web site, sfgov.org/police on the flyer entitled “Latin Lotto Scam Suspects” in the “Wanted Persons” site.
For more information, please contact:
Inspectors Earl Wismer, Robert Lee or Marvetia Richardson
850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA. 94103