Labelle woman loses $10K to lottery scam

Published: Updated:
(SWFL Crime Stoppers)

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Two men are suspected of scamming a Labelle woman out of more than $10,000 in cash and jewelry, Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers said.

The victim said she was approached by two men, who she recognized from church, while at a grocery store on June 15. The men told her they had a winning lottery ticket worth $800,000, but they had no way to cash it in, authorities said. The men asked for the woman’s help in exchange for giving her a portion of the winnings.

As insurance for the victim taking possession of the ticket, the suspects drove her to the Wells Fargo Bank on Palm Beach Boulevard, where she withdrew $9,000 and gave it to them. The victim also gave them several gold rings and bracelets, valued at more than $1,000, officials said.

Before leaving the woman stranded, the two suspects and the victim went into a nearby Publix to make some minor purchases. The suspects then left in an older, silver colored van.

“At the end of the day the old adage of ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’ should be followed,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers coordinator, in reference to these types of scams.

Both suspects are described as Hispanic, one around 40 years of age and the other in his 20s, authorities said.

Surveillance cameras at Publix captured images of one of the two suspects.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000. Tips may also be made online at or by texting a tip to CRIMES (274637) Keyword: REWARD.

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