Police have apprehended a pair of suspected serial con artists from Oakland who police believe swindled Bay Area residents out of their personal savings.Kevin Brown, 26, and Willie Riley, 55, were taken into custody May 11 in Fremont after investigators linked them to prior reports of fraud in Daly City, police said.Police suspect the pair of conning a 78-year-old Daly City woman out of her savings at Daly City’s Westlake Shopping Center in March. The woman identified Riley in a photograph, police said.Three months earlier, a 27-year-old San Francisco man was scammed out of his savings at the same shopping center. That victim also implicated Riley, police said.Police explained that in such scams, the con artist approaches the victim and claims to have inherited or found a large sum of money. He tells the victim he would like to donate some of the money to a local church. Other times, the con artist shows the victim a “winning” lottery ticket that he says he can’t cash because he is in the country illegally. At that point, an accomplice appears, pretending to have overheard the conversation. That person then offers to withdraw cash from the bank as “good faith money” and convinces the victim to do the same. The victim is often allowed to hole the “winning” lottery ticket or what appears to be a large bundle of cash.As soon as the victim is distracted, the con artists flee and the victim is left holding a bogus lotto ticket or a bundle of what turns out to be shredded newspaper.Brown remains in custody on $1 million bail. Riley posted bail and was released. He remains at large pending arrest warrants issued in San Mateo County. Last year, the Daly City Police Department launched a public awareness campaign after an elderly male resident was duped out of more than $800,000 in an e-mail lottery scam.
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