Echo Park waitress loses life savings to offshore scam artists

Antonia Becerra is one of the many long-time workers and familiar faces at Taix, the French Restaurant in Echo Park where the 81-year-old Glendale resident works as a waitress.   Becerra had been planning on finally retiring plans but she has had to postpone those plans after losing her savings and even her car to scam artists who promised her a $2 million grand prize, reports L.A. Now. The scam began in April when Becerra was instructed to wire money to receive a “package” that she had won:

Offshore scam artists even conned her into selling her car for the promise of getting a $2-million prize and a new Mercedes Benz, police say. “I sold the car and I sent them the money — I am still waiting for the package,” Becerra said. The package, police say, will never come. And there’s virtually no hope that her assets will be recovered, or that the perpetrators will be caught.

Becerra must now get rides from co-workers to her job and take the bus home.

“I have to keep on working,” she said. “I gotta do it. There is no way, but I know that the good Lord will help me out.”

Becerra’s plight has prompted the Glendale Police Officers Association to raise money to help get her a new car and pay bills.


  1. is there a link or anything so we can donate to the Glendale Police Officers Association fund?

  2. uhhhh, this is horrible, but c’mon this has to be the oldest trick in the book……im suprised people are STILL falling for it!

  3. The Time story provides a link to the Glendale Police Assoc. at http://www.glendalepoa.com/

    But their offices are closed today.

  4. Didn’t family or friends advise her that you should never, ever do this??

  5. Look, this is unfortunate, but all such cons play on their mark’s greed. It’s too bad this woman had not learned at her age that a stranger offering a 2 mil prize out of the blue was a scam, but living in such a state of obliviousness and frankly greed has consequences.

  6. Maybe at one time in her life, she wouldn’t have been conned, would have been ‘smarter.’ But at 81, she might not be all there, if you know what I mean. It’s easy to arm-chair quarterback, but wait until you’re that old. It might not be so easy to put 2+2 together like it used to be.

  7. Antonia is a very sweet person. I feel so sorry for her plight. She is such a hard worker
    I am glad that so many are pitching in to help her now.

  8. Sir Mittens Ramenstein

    The armchair quarterbacking is precious. She’s a working class 81 year old. For the commenters that can’t grasp how that might impact her actions, you should know that you come across just as clueless as you think she is.

  9. Does anyone know where we can donate money? I tried the Glendale Police site and it seems to not be working…
    This poor woman was ready to retire after working her whole life and was totally preyed upon. So terrible.

    • The Echo PArk Chamber of Commerce will be setting up a Trust Account to accept donations, and will then directly administer the funds to take care of her living expenses while ensuring the funds are safe from opportunists. As soon as we have that info we will share it far and wide…


  10. I know Toni, did not know she is 81. What was she thinking? Oh well, it is what it is!! I wish her well. It’s bad enough that her husband passed a couple of years ago and she is alone.

  11. karma is a bitch the scammer will die

  12. For those of you interested in helping, our website (www.glendalepoa.com) has a Donate button on the main page – about half way down on the right, and that form has a drop-down option to designate the funds go to Ms. Becerra. We appreciate the kind words of support and look forward to getting Ms. Becerra back on her feet. Our mailing address is also on the site for those looking to send their support via traditional mail.
    Thank you in advance for helping Ms. Becerra.

  13. I think the most important thing to remember is Antonia and her plight. Sadly there will always be criminals like these, we have to try and help those who are their victims.

  14. Well, I don’t think the “Lord” will be helping her out of this any more than he helped to not get her here in the first place… But the kindness of east side residences will!

  15. To those judging this lady, I say shame on you! At 81 and alone you might just fall for the same thing she did. These scammers are smooth talkers, very kind and from what I have read know how to play on peoples weaknesses. A lady from my town was scammed by a man claiming to be in the military and she sold her house, was going to sell her car and sent all kinds of money, phones and computers to him.. she wasn’t stupid or greedy they played on her emotions and she lost everything. She has since passed away from health issues she had but it’s sad to think her last year was spent being conned by someone evil and losing everything and then her life.

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