Lottery ticket scam costs victim $19,000

- Haines City police are looking for the pair who used the promise of a lotto payoff to scam a man out of $19,000.

According to investigators, they met the victim at a Family Dollar store. Police released surveillance video of the three men together. 

The men told the 42-year-old victim they had a winning lottery ticket worth $750,000, but they said they couldn't claim it because they're not here legally. They told him if he gave them $19,000 cash, they would give him the winning ticket.

The man agreed to get the cash, so the suspects drove him to two banks and waited for him to make the withdrawals. But then the suspects took off with his cash, and now police have released photos of them in hopes that someone can help identify them.

"If you think it is too good to believe, it is. No one is giving money away," said Haines City Deputy Police Chief James Elensky. "I just want [the suspects] to know that we are coming after them." 

The victim described the suspects' vehicle as a newer model black Dodge Journey with after-market rims. The driver of the was described as a Hispanic male with a dark skin complexion. The second suspect was described as a skinny Hispanic male with a light skin complexion.

Police say the suspects communicated with the victim in Spanish throughout the entire incident.

The Haines City Police Department is asking anyone with information to contact Detective Chris Colon at 863-632-2647, or the Haines City Police Department at 863-421-3636 ext.2239 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477). A cash reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.

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