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Local man victim of lottery ticket scam

POSTED: October 12, 2008 5:01 a.m.

A Gainesville man is out $13,000 after falling victim to a flim-flam by a trio of con artists who told him they had a winning lottery ticket, police said.

The theft occurred on July 23 and was announced in a news release from police Wednesday.

Gainesville Police Lt. Brian Kelly said the theft victim was approached by two men and a woman in the parking lot of J&J Foods on Jesse Jewell Parkway. The trio said they had a winning lottery ticket but needed the man's help cashing it because they were illegal immigrants.

The con artists made a phone call while the victim watched and had the person on the other end of the line pose as a Georgia Lottery official, Kelly said.

They convinced the man that he needed to withdraw money to cover "fees" that would be levied for the lottery winnings.

The man withdrew $13,000 from his bank.

The three con artists managed to switch the victim's bag of money with a bag of shredded paper and left with the cash.

Kelly said there could be other victims of the scam.

"If it seems too good be true, it probably is," Kelly said.



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