74-year-old Lilian Sanchez says her retirement money is gone. It disappeared after she went grocery shopping last Friday. Through a translator, Lilian said, "Suddenly a guy came up and asked me if I knew of a church, but I told him I was not from this area. So another lady walked by and asked what happened."
That's when the man showed Lilian a piece of paper. He claimed to have a winning lottery ticket and said he needed her help to get the money. He said because he was undocumented, the could not claim the money. Turns out the other woman was in on the scam. "She asked me if we could help the guy because he did not have any papers."
Lilian says the couple first drove her home, and then to the her bank. Lilian withdrew 20 thousand dollars in cash. "I came outside and was walking towards the woman where the laundry mat is on Southern Boulevard as soon as I was getting closer, she came running and pushed me down."
The man and woman took off with Lilian's money.
Detective J.C. Viteri, with the West Palm Beach Police Department, is investigating the robbery. He said, "It has come to my attention that the same amount and same type of incident is occurring south of us in Broward and in Dade."
His advice: "Don't believe these stories, call law enforcement immediately, let somebody know at the bank that you are being proposed this kind of trade."
Several Hispanic communities are being warned about the scam. A local Hispanic newspaper, La Guia Gratuita is also trying to get the word out that residents should be aware of these scams.
On the web: http://noticias.laguiagratuita.com/