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Crime Stoppers For The Week of September 16, 2002

September 16, 2002 00:00


Portland Police, in cooperation with Crime Stoppers, are asking for your help in identifying and apprehending con artists who are African-American and appear to be targeting senior African-Americans in a scam known as "The Jamaican Switch." Since August 21st of this year, Portland Police have taken three reports from people in Northeast Portland who have fallen victim to the scam. In July, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office had a case with some similarity.

The suspect who makes initial contact with the victim has sometimes been male, sometimes female, but the story is always the same. They claim to be from South Africa, where they say they must return immediately. They also claim to be in possession of a large sum of cash (sometimes as much as several hundred thousand dollars) and show the victim a large "wad" of what appears to be rolled-up money. The money reportedly can not be taken back to South Africa, therefore the suspect has decided to give it to charity and asks the victim's help in getting it there. But, before the suspect will hand over such a large sum of money to the victim, the victim must prove they are honest by putting up their money. As the victim soon learns, the large "wad" of money that is supposedly wrapped in the bandanna they have been given turns out to be cut newspaper.

The male is described as in mid-30's, approximately 5'8" tall, medium build, short hair and a very dark complexion. The female is described as in her 30's, approximately 5'6" tall, medium build, medium complexion, and black hair that is just long enough to be worn in a pony tail. Both are always well dressed.

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, which leads to an arrest in this case, or any unsolved felony crime, and you need not give your name, Call Crime Stoppers at (503) 823-HELP.


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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