Police in Hoboken, New Jersey, are searching for a fraudster who scammed money out of two unsuspecting victims by telling them he'd won the lottery and needed help to secure the release of his prize. A third victim claims the mystery man hypnotized her when she failed to fall for the scam.
According to the police report, the man allegedly told his victims he'd won the lottery but was unable to claim his prize because he was living in the US illegally. He then promised his first two victims he would give them a share of the winnings if they gave him money upfront so he could collect his prize.
The first two victims handed over jewelry and cash, but his next victim was not so easily convinced.
On November 7, he approached an 83-year-old woman in Union City and asked for her assistance. While they were talking two women approached and offered the man a lift the lottery claim center in Jersey City. The man then promised to give each of them $125,000 as a thank you for their assistance.
Unconvinced by the charade, the Union City woman asked him to ring the number on the back of the ticket to verify he'd won. The man seemed to oblige, handed her the phone, and another accomplice confirmed it was a winning ticket.
According to his victim, the man then passed his hand in front of her face and "hypnotized" her into feeling a sudden desire to help him out. She gave him an 18 karat gold medal, two watches, and a 50-year-old engagement ring.
The man and his two accomplices then drove off in a blue SUV.
Anyone who has information that could help bring the perpetrators to justice should call Hoboken police on 201-420-2100.