Lotto scammers take Richmond woman for a ride

Two suspects are at large after scamming an elderly Richmond woman out of approximately $4,000 in cash and jewelry on Thursday.

According to police, the lowlifes approached the 66-year-old victim at an El Cerrito Marshall’s with what they said was a winning lottery ticket. In order to claim the prize, said the two men, they just needed a ride to Oakland.

And $20,000.

While the woman was skeptical, a phone chat with a fake customer service representative convinced her to go along with their story.

According to El Cerrito police Lt. Paul Keith, the woman drove the men to her Richmond home, where she grabbed about $4,000 worth of cash and jewelry and gave it to the suspects.

On their way to Oakland, the duo — described as roughly 6 feet tall Hispanic men with black hair and brown eyes — created a diversion. When the woman stopped the car, the men fled with the loot.

According to police, the pair are wanted on suspicion of grand theft, fraud and elder abuse.

The first suspect is described as 35 to 40 years old wearing a gray suit and white dress shirt. The second man is believed to be in his 50s sporting a brown jacket and brown pants.

Both individuals are thought to weigh about 200 pounds.

The lottery scam, said Keith, is a popular scheme targeted towards the elderly.

Similar schemes have been reported in San Mateo, Danville and elsewhere in the Bay Area.

The victims aren’t always someone’s grandma. In June 2012, a couple successfully scammed a 33-year-old victim with an elaborate lottery scam in South San Francisco.

According to Keith, if anyone approaches you for valuables or cash in order to reclaim a lottery prize — get the heck away:

“If somebody comes forward with a problem like that, redirect them to someplace that can help them and call the police.”