A 45-year-old Port Chester woman was scammed out of $8,000 today in an elaborate con game in which two men convinced her to buy what they told her was a winning lottery ticket worth $500,000, according to Port Chester police.
"These guys really made her believe what they were saying," said Lt. James Ladeairous.
Ladeairous said the victim was approached by two men, one about 50 years old and the other about 40 years old, driving a grey Toyota minivan. The men told the woman they had a winning New York State Lottery ticket that was worth $500,000, but they could not cash it because they are illegal aliens.
Ladeairous said the men offered to sell the woman the ticket for $8,000 — and the woman accepted the offer. As part of the scam, the men offered to connect the victim with a state lottery official. Ladeairous said the men made a call on a cell phone and then handed it to their victim.
The victim told police a woman on the phone claimed to be a lottery official and told her that she needed to go to a lottery office in Mamaroneck. The two con men offered to drive the woman to the ficticious office.
Ladeairous said the woman took $8,000 from her bank account and got into the minivan for the ride to the lottery office. However, during the ride in the minivan, Ladeairous said one of the two men told the woman he had a headache and asked her to go into a local Walgreens store to buy some aspirin.
The victim when to the store, bought the aspirin, but when she came out of Walgreens the men, the minivan and her $8,000 were gone.
"She didn't even get to hold the lottery ticket," Ladeairous said. "They only showed it to her."
Ladeairous warned that if anyone approaches you on the street, by mail, telephone or e-mail with an offer that sounds too good to be true, it probably is bogus. He also noted that residents should not get involved with a deal that requires them to put up some of their own money to gain access to larger sums of cash.