They said they had a winning lottery ticket.

But police said their victim found out the hard way his gamble was a losing bet.

Now, police are hoping the public can provide information about the couple who they said scammed a Brentwood man out of almost $29,000 in November -- money, Suffolk County police said, the victim handed over as part of a lottery ticket scam.

Police did not release the identity of the victim, but said he was shopping in a store in Central Islip when he was approached by the man and woman on Nov. 25. The couple claimed to have a winning lottery ticket, police said.

But, police said, the couple told the man they couldn't cash the ticket -- because they weren't U.S. citizens.

Instead, police said, they persuaded the victim to withdraw almost $29,000 from his bank account so their winning ticket could be processed.

Then, they took the victim's money and fled, police said.

Police described the man as being in his mid-30s to early 40s, between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-8, and balding. The woman was described as about 5-foot-4 and heavy set, police said. Her approximate age was not immediately clear.

Police are asking anyone with information about the scam to call Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.

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