AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– The victim of a lotto scam wasn’t replying to emails on her computer or even answering the phone– she claims she was targeted in person.
The victim, identified only as “Jane” was buying groceries at a Sprouts Market in Aurora when she was approached by a woman speaking broken English who said she needed help. Before the end of the day Jane had been scammed out of $11,000.
The female suspect was with a man who the victim would later learn was an accomplice. The woman said she needed help to collect winnings from her lottery ticket.
“That’s why I trusted them. They both looked so honest, very honest, they just needed help,” said Jane.
Jane said the man pretended to call someone from the lottery to verify the numbers. He came back with instructions.
“Yes those were the numbers, this is what you have to do because you’re an illegal. You can’t get your green card today but you need somebody to vouch for you,” said Jane.
Jane said the man agreed to help the woman so then Jane decided to help as well. She thought the woman needed money for a transaction fee.
Jane went to several banks, including Bellco Credit Union, and gathered together $11,000.
The man claimed they would need paperwork from an Office Depot. While he went inside the woman asked Jane for a favor, a bottle of water from Sprouts to quench her thirst. Jane left her money in the car with the woman.
“I came back out with the water for the three of us and she was gone and he was gone,” said Jane.
That’s when she realized she had been scammed despite the woman’s genuine demeanor.
“She would reach up and hold my hand, thanking me, she said, ‘I need to get back to Argentina where my parents live,'” said Jane.
Jane said she hopes her story will help others avoid being scammed in the future.
“Be aware, be aware. Anytime anyone asks you for anything, just question it, be aware,” said Jane.
Police in Aurora said they had a very similar case last month where a woman lost $3,500. They believe another case in Fort Collins might also be connected. That case involved the loss of more than $22,000.