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Crime Stoppers Of The Week

July 27, 2004 00:00


Portland Police, in cooperation with Crime Stoppers, are asking for help in identifying and catching con artists who are targeting senior citizens and in some cases getting away with a large sum of money.

The suspects approach victims at grocery stores or in parking lots and tell the victim they are from Africa or South Africa, and have come into possession of a lot of money. The suspect flashes a wad of bills they said they got in an inheritance or insurance settlement. They tell the victim they can’t take the money back to their country and are looking for a church or charitable organization to donate it to. The suspect asks the victim for help finding a place to give away the money and usually asks to be driven somewhere. They may also tell the victim they want to give the victim the money.

At this point in the scam the suspect is joined by an accomplice, posing as an unsuspecting third party, seemingly enlisted in the mission to give away the money. The suspect suggests to the victim that the victim should provide money of their own, usually $10,000, as proof they are trustworthy. They go to the victim’s bank, the victim withdraws the money and hands it to the suspect to hold for a few minutes, or even to walk around the block with, as a sign of good faith. Of course, the suspect is never seen again. Neither is the money.

The main suspect is a black female in her twenties or thirties. She speaks with an accent. She has a thin build, straight black hair and a ponytail. The accomplice has been a black female and a black male.

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that leads to the arrest of the suspect in this case, or any unsolved felony, and you may remain anonymous. Call Crime Stoppers at (503) 823-HELP (4357).


Media Relations:
Sgt. Pete Simpson
Desk: 503-823-0830
Pager: 503-790-1779

Portland Police Bureau
1111 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 1526
Portland, Oregon 97204



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