General Crime

* Couple Use Lottery Scam to Steal Money from Man in Danville

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Police are attempting to locate a couple that scammed a man into giving them money Thursday at a Danville shopping center to help them obtain made-up lottery winnings, a police detective said today. Shortly after 1:30 p.m. Thursday, a man and woman approached a Danville man in the shopping center parking lot, police said. The woman told the victim that she was an illegal immigrant who needed the victim’s help to cash a winning lottery ticket in exchange for a portion of the winnings.

The man agreed and accompanied the couple to several banks in Danville and San Ramon to withdraw “a significant sum” of money, which the victim gave to the suspects, Danville police Detective Anthony Perry said. He said investigators are looking into whether any bank surveillance footage was captured of the two suspects Thursday. Police said that when the couple received the last of the victim’s cash, they quickly walked away and did not return. The suspects are described as a Hispanic man in his 60s who is about 5 feet 3 inches tall with gray hair and a Hispanic woman in her 60s who is about 5 feet tall with black hair.

The man was last seen wearing tan pants and the woman was wearing a green or yellow hat, police said. Police are warning residents to beware of such lottery scams, in which a suspect promises someone a portion of the winnings when the victim gives them cash to pay fictitious fees and taxes in order for the money to be released. Another common scam involves suspects informing a victim that they need bail money for a loved one who is in jail, police said. “These are situations where if it seems too good to be true, it most likely is,” said Police Chief Steve Simpkins. “We recommend that if someone approaches or contacts you in this way, you should contact the police immediately.”

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