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Crime Stoppers for the Week of November 10, 2003

November 13, 2003 00:00


Portland Police, in cooperation with Crime Stoppers, are asking for your help in identifying and apprehending con-artists currently working the Jamaican Switch Scam.

The con-artists appear to be targeting elderly victims. Portland Police have three reports, the latest on October 29th, where victims have lost money. The oldest victim so far has been 83 years of age. The largest reported loss has been $25,000. Two of the victims were contacted in Southeast Portland. The third victim was contacted in Beaverton but came to Portland where the funds were withdrawn from the bank. Investigators believe there are probably other victims who, for various reasons, have not made reports.

In the current scam the victim is initially contacted by one female suspect who displays a large sum of U.S. Currency she claims she is forbidden to take back to Africa where she is returning, usually the story is, to claim a multi-million dollar inheritance. Since she can not take the U.S. Currency back with her, she asks if the victim can be trusted to help her donate it to a charity. A second suspect, acting as a stranger walking by, is brought into the scam to give credibility to the requirement that the victim show "good faith money" in order to be trusted.

Suspect #1 is described as a black female in her 30's. She is approximately 5'4" tall, with a medium build, black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing an off-white scarf on her head and a skirt. Suspect #2 is described as a black female, 28 to 30 years of age, 5'2" tall and weighing 110 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes and described as "well dressed." There is possibly a third suspect, a black male, working with the two females.

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information, reported to Crime Stoppers, that 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 (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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