Authorities Tuesday sought information about a lottery scam that defrauded a Seal Beach man out of about $140,000.
Seal Beach Police Department officers responded Friday to a call of theft by false pretenses, said the department’s Lt. Nick Nicholas.
The man who made the call told officers he received a letter in 2020 postmarked from Portugal which claimed that he had won the lottery in Spain, Nicholas said.
The letter, which contained logos and images similar to those used by the California Lottery, claimed the man had to pay “upfront tax money” to claim his winnings.
The man sent money to the suspects using the United States Postal Service, Nicholas said. However, the suspects demanded additional payment from the man to “secure the lottery winnings.”
The man sent cashier’s checks to multiple individuals in the United States and Portugal over the course of several months. He discovered he was the victim of a scam after he sent about $140,000 and received nothing in return.
The Seal Beach Police Department, in cooperation with the FBI and international officials, is investigating the scam in an attempt to identify the suspects.
Anyone with information of the incident can contact Seal Beach Police Department Detective Jon Ainley at 562-799-4100, ext. 1113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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