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San Diego County District Attorney's Office warns of lottery ticket scam

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Posted at 7:06 AM, Sep 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-03 10:06:06-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office is warning the public about a lottery ticket scam targeting elderly Hispanic women around the county.

According to the DA’s Office, the scammers “typically approach elderly Spanish-speaking women” in shopping centers and tell them they have a $1 million winning lottery ticket.

The scammers tell the women that they are unable to cash in the ticket due to immigration issues.

The DA’s Office said a second person involved in the scheme joins the conversation and offers to help, followed by a third person who claims to be a lawyer and tells the victim that she can cash in the ticket.

The victim is convinced by the scammers to give them $20,000 and is promised money back with an additional $10,000 once the ticket is cashed.

Previous victims told authorities that the scammers “have a specific Latin-American accent (non-Mexican accent) when they speak Spanish.”

So far, 42-year-old Maria Luisa Henao has been charged in connection with the scam. The DA’s Office said Henao faces charges including theft from an elder, grand theft of personal property and attempted robbery.

There have been three victims in the scheme, according to the DA’s Office, but investigators believe there could be more victims.

Victims or anyone with information on the case are urged to call the DA’s Elder Abuse Unit at 619-531-3572.