Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at email@example.com or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here.
AURORA, Colo. -- An elderly woman says two thieves manipulated and coerced her into giving them thousands of dollars after meeting at a local Target store.
"Eight-thousand, five-hundred dollars -- all gone," she said, wishing to remain anonymous. "Since both my husband and I are on Social Security, that was our savings."
Contact7 has seen these senior scams before. The suspect says they have come upon a large sum of money but need help to redeem it.
What's unusual is this scam didn't happen over the phone but inside a Target store.
“I was in the linen section and all of the sudden this woman approached me, asked me if I spoke Spanish and I told her I did a little bit,” she said.
The suspect told the victim she was looking for the office to redeem her lotto ticket and that she didn’t have the proper identification.
Then a man joined in on the effort to help. The victim now believes the two were working together.
They called the number on the lotto ticket. The man said the woman needed representatives to redeem her winnings because she was not a United States citizen.
"They told him we were going to have to come up with $40,000 in lawyer fees,” she said.
The victim agreed to help and they drove to her bank.
“I should have stopped at that moment but they seemed so legitimate and sincere and I felt sorry for the lady because she said she didn’t have any family there,” she said.
The victim gave the woman $8,500 cash.
Suddenly the woman said she was feeling ill. The victim went inside a store to get her something to drink and the man and woman disappeared.
“I knew then I had been scammed and robbed,” she said. “If something happens, we have nothing to fall back on.”
The victim says she wants to warn others of this elaborate scam so it doesn't happen again.
“I felt pressured and I felt coerced,” she said. “The amount of cash they had on hand I’m sure they have done it before.”
Aurora Police released photos of the man and woman from security video.
Anyone with information on the suspects can contact investigator B. Olson at 303-627-3237 or you can remain anonymous, and be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000 by contacting Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-7867.