June 16, 2009

Crime Beat: Grifters

Information is from Mission and Ingleside District San Francisco Police Station newsletters.
Scam Alert! On Friday, May 30th, at 12:30 p.m., a 70 year old woman was approached on Church Street near Cesar Chavez by two individuals. A male in his 30's, 5'1 and claiming to be from El Salvador. This person was acting confused and worried because he could not find a lawyer's office. A woman, claiming to be of Puerto Rican descent, wearing sunglasses and a hat, 5'4" tall, walked up moments later and was the man's accomplice. While acting as though they had never met, they coerced the woman into making a series of decisions, ultimately defrauding, or "scamming" her of $10,000.00.

These individuals produced a lottery ticket with a purported value of one million dollars. Pleading for help in finding the attorney, they tricked the woman into providing them with half of the $20,000.00 deposit required to "claim the prize money." The individuals took the woman's money, put it in a Fed Ex envelope then switched it with an identical envelope containing cut-up newspaper. PLEASE BE CAUTIOUS FOR THESE SCAMS!