General Crime

* San Mateo Sheriff’s Deputies Warn of Lottery Scams Targeting Senior Citizens

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San Mateo Sheriff’s Office Press Release

On Thursday, December 1st, 2011 a woman in her 70’s was returning to her vehicle after shopping at Trader Joe’s in San Carlos. She was approached by two Hispanic males who offered to let her take part in a large draw from a winning lottery ticket if she would give them some good faith money. Although hesitant, the lady was coerced into the vehicle driven by both suspects and taken to her home in Redwood City. The victim went into her home and retrieved a large amount of cash and gave it to the suspects. She was then driven to the corner of El Camino Real & Madison Ave. in Redwood City where she was dropped off and the suspects drove away. The victim called her daughter to pick her up and told her what happened. They then reported the crime to the Sheriff’s Office.

The suspects are described as follows:
#1 – Hispanic male 60-70 years old, 5’5”-5’7” tall, stocky build, wearing glasses
#2 – Hispanic male 20-25 years old, 6’0”-6’4” tall, thin build, short black hair

The suspect vehicle is described as a White full size newer model van with a sliding door and windows that wrap around the entire vehicle.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to make families aware of this type of crime that frequently targets elders. Families are encouraged to talk to their seniors about these types of predators and the warning signs that they are being victimized.

Warning signs include:
• being approached by one or more strangers, usually in a public place
• The stranger will entice the victim by offering to share in some type of large monetary gain, usually a lottery ticket that needs to be cashed
• The suspect will ask the victim for some money up front as “good faith” or to pay the taxes on the winnings

Anyone who may have witnessed any portion of this crime or who believes they may have information concerning this crime is encouraged to contact Sheriff’s Detective Saul Lopez at 650-363-4347 or telephone the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Anonymous Tip Line at (800) 547-2700.

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