Deputies Make Arrest In Lottery Scam In Fillmore

Monday October 14, 2019

     The Ventura County Sheriff's Office says that deputies in Fillmore have arrested a Los Angeles man for allegedly being part of a team trying to pull off a very old but tried-and-true lottery ticket scam.

   Last Thursday afternoon an elderly woman walked into the Bank of the Sierra in Fillmore and withdrew a large sum of money.

   Bank employees spotted a man who entered the bank who seemed to be paying an unusal amount of attention to the woman and that raised their suspicion so they notified the sheriff's office.

   When deputies arrived, the man tried to flee the bank, but was detained while they talked with the elderly woman.

   She told them she was contacted by a man and woman who said they had a winning lottery ticket but they could not cash it and would she help?

   They convinced her that as an act of "good faith" they need her to give them a large amount of cash while they gave her the lottery ticket to cash.

   Deputies say that the man they detained at the bank, 63-year-old Nelson Davila Cruz of Los Angeles, was part of the team of scammers working to separate the elderly woman from her money.

    He was arrested for his role in the scam and also for a felony warrant for embezzlement in another county and was a suspect in a lottery scam in Long Beach.

   No word on the others involved in the scam.

   This is a very old scam, one of many that usually target older people.

   The key is the con-artists convince the person that the ticket is real and valuable but because of their nationality they cannot cash the ticket.

   The scammers then request that if they are going to give the victim this valuable lottery ticket to cash it would be "good faith" on the victim's part to give them cash to hold while the transaction is being completed.

   The lottery ticket turns out to be worthless and the scammers make off the the victim's money.