Lottery scammers hit jackpot in Glenwood
A pay-to-win lottery scam duped a local man out of $1,800 Thursday, Glenwood Springs police reported Monday.
According to Glenwood Springs police chief Terry Wilson, the unsuspecting victim was approached by a man in the Wal-Mart parking lot Thursday.
The alleged scammer – whose identity is not known to police – told the victim he needed $5,000 and a ride to an attorney’s office “to make his papers legal,” Wilson said.
The victim said he didn’t have any money for that, but he could give the scammer a ride to the office in downtown Glenwood Springs.
Moments later, a woman, also unknown to police, walked out of the store and joined the two.
Before the three left for the attorney’s office, the alleged scammer pulled a lottery ticket out of his pocket. He told the victim it was worth $500,000, but that he needed $60,000 to claim the prize. The victim said he didn’t have $60,000, but did offer $1,800 to help redeem the prize.
The scammers even placed a cell phone call to someone who claimed to be a Colorado Lottery official, who told the victim the offer was legitimate.
The trio got into the victim’s car and drove to his bank, where the victim withdrew $1,800 and gave it to the couple, Wilson said.
As they left the victim’s bank and were supposedly headed for the scammer’s bank to get more money toward claiming the bogus lottery prize, the scammer acted like he was having diabetic seizures. He asked the victim to drive back to Wal-Mart so he could pick up medication to treat the seizures, Wilson said.
The couple walked into the store with the victim’s $1,800 and vanished.
As soon as the victim figured out what happened, he immediately reported the scam to police.
The alleged scammers are described as a Hispanic man, 25 to 30 years old, and a short, heavy Hispanic woman, 30 to 40 years old. Both have brown hair and brown eyes.
Wilson said he’s heard of similar scams, but “not in this format, not in a face-to-face confrontation.”
Police are investigating the incident, but as of Monday, the alleged scammers have not been identified, Wilson said.
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Grace Wesseling is an animal lover, a cheerleader of seven years and another soon-to-be graduate of Bridges High School, class of 2021.