Police are warning residents of a New York's Suffolk County about scam artists targeting Hispanic women.
According to police, the suspects work in pairs and approach their victims telling them they won the lottery but, because they are undocumented, they’re unable to claim their winnings. So they offer their victims what looks like a deal — you go cash it for me and I will give you part of the money.
"They ask the person for assistance to cash the lottery ticket," Police Commissioner Timothy Sini told ABC7 NY. "In doing so, they ask the victim, the target, for some collateral. Essentially, if I'm going to give you this ticket, I need you to give me something before you walk away with the ticket. They typically ask for cash or jewelry."
There have been nine incidents since April 2015 in North Bay Shore, Huntington Station, Patchogue and East Northport, ABC7 reported.
The scammers, who allegedly are Latino as well, offer to split the winnings with the victims if they put the prize money in their names. The suspects then follow them to their home to collect the items, and as soon as the valuables are passed to the suspect, they flee the scene.
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"The number one rule is [to] use your common sense," Sini told ABC7.
Suffolk County Police have advised residents not to give money or any items to strangers, and to report any of similar incidences to the police.