Watchers we need your help in catching these crooks! The Sheriff’s Department Fillmore Station team has identified a fraud ring using a lottery scam operating within Ventura County. These criminals are targeting farm workers and the elderly within the Spanish speaking community. I’ve included Fillmore Captain Tim Hagel’s Farm Watch notice to explain the details of how the scam works.
As a previous Fillmore Detective, I have worked very similar cases that had the same M.O. These cases are extremely difficult to solve, but not impossible with your help. Spread the word and encourage anyone that has been a victim or witness of this scam to immediately report it. A license plate, tattoo description, or other small detail might be all that we need to track these crooks down.
PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES. THE POWER OF CITYWATCH IS THAT EACH OF US NETWORKING CAN COLLECTIVELY REACH THOUSANDS OF OTHERS BY FORWARDING THIS EMAIL.
Farm Worker Alert:
This just happen last week: A group of four criminals stole money from Ventura County farm workers and Spanish speaking residents in a California lottery scam. Theses criminals single out Ventura County residents who use Spanish as their strongest language. They prefer female victims of adult or elderly age, but on occasion will prey on males.
They are excellent actors and you will never know that all four are connected. When you read the story, remember they change it up once a while mixing in fictitious IRS Agents, Fictitious Notaries and Fictitious Attorneys.
Here is the scene:
They hit while your farm workers are in a shopping center, parking lot, picking up kids from school or public building, they are approached by a Spanish-speaking female.
On occasion they use a male. The male or females are actors, and will tell the farm worker that he or she just found a State Lottery ticket and that they think it was the winning number.
Next, a passerby will approach as a random person and unknown to your farm worker. Usually the passerby will be well dressed as a businessman or woman. They will speak in Spanish to make the victim comfortable.
The two actor-criminals will both be excited about the lottery ticket. The actor-passerby will use his or her cell phone to call the State Lottery officials and see how to cash in the ticket. The person on the other end of the cell phone is not a lottery official, but part of the four person criminal group.
The criminal on the other end who is acting like a lottery official will tell the group that one must be a citizen to cash in the ticket.
The original female that held the ticket will start crying and tell your farm worker and the passerby criminal-actor that she is not a citizen. The passerby actor will ask your worker if they are a citizen? No matter what they reply, these well polished crooks will pull the farm worker in as a victim.
Then, the criminal/actor passerby will call a friend who is an immigration attorney. The fictitious attorney is the 4th actor. The criminal/actor passerby will put the victim on the cell phone to talk to the fictitious Spanish speaking attorney who will then describe a fair plan how all three can all cash the ticket in as a group.
The attorney actor on the phone will suggest that the three of the strangers split the lottery since the winner is not a citizen. Suggesting each will typically receive a third of $500,000 to $2,000,000. The attorney actor on the phone will suggest that since none of them know one another, that they each make a good faith deposit to him for $1,000 to $10,000.
He will tell them that they can all go to their banks or houses together for their cash deposit and drive together to the attorney’s or Lottery Office in Ventura. The attorney will meet them there.
Of course everyone is excited, his or her lives are about to change. In our recent case, the original female actor began to cry with joy that she was able to make her way back to Mexico and retire. Our farm workers have been excited to be a part of it and readily hand over their life savings to the criminals.
Next, they actors will drive everyone and will stop on the way to the attorney office and get the victim to walk into a store for food, shopping or a meal. When they are not looking they will slip away with the good faith deposit.
If your workers are approached on this lottery scam: Write down the license plate of the actors and call 911 immediately. Our 911 Center will speak to them in Spanish and send help to catch the criminals.