Scam targets unsuspecting in West Covina

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WEST COVINA Police are warning the public about a suspected team of con artists who they say scammed two local women out of thousands of dollars Wednesday.
Both incidents targeted older Latino women, said West Covina police Cpl. Rudy Lopez<NO1>cq<NO>.
The crimes occurred about 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m., he said.
In the first case, a 69-year-old woman was approached by a Spanish-speaking man while shopping inside Longs Drugs store, 727 S. Glendora Ave., said Lopez.
The man told her that his father was dying in Costa Rica, and that he needed to have a document notarized at the law offices of Martinez and Martinez in order to have money sent to him, Lopez said.
A second alleged crook, a woman, walked up and said she knew where it was and could drive him, said the alleged victim, who asked her name not be used for fear of retaliation.
The woman convinced the victim to enter her car by telling her she did not want to be alone with the man, she said.
Once inside the suspects van, the man and woman convinced the woman to use her credit card to withdraw $8,000 from the bank, promising her they would return her money as soon as they got the document notarized, Lopez said.
At first I thought they were just friendly, said the victim. Once they got me in the car, they changed. I was scared, she said.
While at the bank, the alleged woman suspects picture was caught by surveillance cameras, Lopez added.
Shortly after leaving the bank, the man began coughing and asked the victim to get him some water, said Lopez.
When the woman returned with the water, the man and woman had fled with her money, he said.
The victim described the man as being Latino, about 50 years old, 5-feet tall, about 120 pounds, with short hair, wearing a dark-colored suit, said Lopez.
The other suspect was described as a Spanish-speaking Latino woman, in her 30s, with long brown hair, sunglasses, a brown sweat shirt, brown pants, and a scarf around her ponytail.
They drove a white mini-van, police added.
About half an hour later, a similar con was reported in on the Azusa/Covina border, police said.
A 60-year-old Latino woman was walking in the area of Arrow Highway and Citrus Avenue when she was approached by a Spanish-speaking man who told her he had a winning Lotto ticket worth $1 million and needed to go to the law offices of Martinez and Martinez, said Lopez.
As before, a woman posing as a passer-by offered a ride and encouraged the victim to give the man collateral money so he could cash the ticket, which she promised would be promptly returned.
After the con artist took the woman to her West Covina home where she retrieved $1,600 and some jewelry, the man said he had a headache and asked the victim to get him some aspirin, Lopez said.
Once the victim went inside the store, the suspects fled, he added.
The second victim gave police a description of the pair that was similar to that of the first victim, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the West Covina Police Department at (626) 939-8557.
[TAG1]brian.day@sgvn.com
<MC>(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2718

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  • Berta

    I don’t know how these folks can live with themselves and how the victims don’t have enough common sense to avoid the ‘game’. Man, I hope I can preserve the little common sense that I “think” I have..

  • Anonymous

    Sometimes kind-hearted people do not suspect the worst in others and get burned or it.