What if someone came up to you and offered to split their winnings from a Lotto ticket?

All you'd have to do, in return, is cash it for them and put up money to show good faith that you're not going to run off with the whole thing. If it sounds like a scam, it is. But people are being taken right here in L.A:

The LAPD reports an unusual uptick in the number of people victimized by the scheme in the San Fernando Valley.

This department announced yesterday that two victims have come forward in the last week and that there were four suckers taken last month.

The scammers do their dirty work in Spanish and target elderly Latinos, cops say. And therein lies the key to the deal:

The suspects claim that they cannot cash in their winning tickets because they are in the country illegally, according to the LAPD.

They say they'll share the winnings if the victims can cash the tickets for them, according to police. But, of course, a security deposit is needed.

The losers have ended up $1,000 lighter, cops say. In some cases jewelry was the collateral. In all of them, the bad guys fled with the loot.

Police want to remind you that you do NOT have to be here legally to cash a lottery ticket.

If you know anything about these scammers detectives would love to hear from you: 818-838-9898.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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