Swindlers dupe elderly victims

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A group of thieves is preying on people in a flimflam that has already cost three victims a total of $30,000.

The scammers are approaching people, often the elderly, in business parking lots and asking them to either help them make change or promising them profits if they turn over large sums of cash, Richmond County Investigator Shawn Newsome said.

Investigators said this type of scam is not new and is usually done by groups that are passing through town.

"Normally what they do is blow into town and blow right out again," Investigator Newsome said.

In the incidents -- which occurred in the parking lots of Kroger and Walgreens on Wrightsboro Road and at the Augusta Exchange -- the technique and description of the suspects vary slightly.

An 82-year-old woman said she was approached June 23 at PetsMart on Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway by a middle-age white woman who claimed to have 15 $1,000 bills and needed to make change in order to spend them, a sheriff's report said. The victim agreed to help and withdrew a total of $15,000 from several bank terminals around town. She met the woman in front of Borders Books several hours later, turned over the money, and waited while the woman went into the bookstore to retrieve the large bills she claimed to have. The younger woman never returned.

The same day a white woman with a similar description and a black man in his late 30s approached a 60-year-old woman at Walgreens claiming to have found an envelope full of money under her car. The man claimed to be a store employee and told the victim that if she gave them $5,000, she could get $20,000 in return. The pair took the woman's money, told her to go inside the store to collect her cut from the store's manager, then fled.

On June 29, two black women in their late 20s swindled $10,000 from a 74-year-old woman they met outside Kroger, according to a sheriff's report. They told the victim that they found $60,000 and were considering turning it over to police.

They claimed to know a lawyer who was at TJ Maxx on Wrightsboro Road and thought this person might be able to tell them what to do with the cash. All three traveled to the store, and the two young women made the victim wait while they went inside. They returned and said the lawyer told them to put together $10,000 each so they could give the sheriff's office $30,000 and split the money found, with each receiving $20,000.

After getting the money, the victim gave it to the scam operators, who then said they would be going to the sheriff's office to turn the $30,000 in to authorities. They never returned.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (13) Add comment
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Steeler185
0
Points
Steeler185 07/09/09 - 05:57 am
0
0
How stupid can people be? You

How stupid can people be? You have to have one thing to get scamed like this, GREED.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 07/09/09 - 06:10 am
0
0
Parking lot windfalls? How

Parking lot windfalls? How elderly do you have to be to fall for this concept?

Dixieman
15357
Points
Dixieman 07/09/09 - 06:43 am
0
0
You can't con an honest

You can't con an honest person.

imho1
0
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imho1 07/09/09 - 08:25 am
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People stupid enough to fall

People stupid enough to fall for these scams shouldn't have any money to start with.

AmericanRose
3
Points
AmericanRose 07/09/09 - 09:16 am
0
0
I agree with everybody above.

I agree with everybody above.

Cestlavie
134
Points
Cestlavie 07/09/09 - 09:25 am
0
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My parents, who are in their

My parents, who are in their early 80's, would never fall for this kind of scam. They worked hard to enjoy their retirement, and nobody is going to swindle them out of it. If they have any doubt, they will call me or my siblings before they do anything. What is wrong with these people that they are so gullible?

getalife
4
Points
getalife 07/09/09 - 10:01 am
0
0
All of the people scammed

All of the people scammed were trying to get more money. Greed!!

Nammy3
0
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Nammy3 07/09/09 - 10:06 am
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Senile.......old farts don't

Senile.......old farts don't deserve any money. Or being in charge of any!

sugarbutton
949
Points
sugarbutton 07/09/09 - 11:29 am
0
0
Checkit? Is this what you do

Checkit? Is this what you do with your time? I read the comments occasionally just to laugh and realize what a good and challenging life I do have. I HAVE A JOB!!!!!!! YAAAAAAAAYYY!!

SusieQ
1
Points
SusieQ 07/09/09 - 01:04 pm
0
0
Nammy-- You will be an "OLD

Nammy-- You will be an "OLD FART" one day if you live long enough. This is a very stupid thing to do, in the first place why would anyone talk to these strangers in a parking lot. I don't even speak to anyone in a parking lot. And yes I'm an OLD FART. SusieQ

Jen2803
1
Points
Jen2803 07/09/09 - 01:24 pm
0
0
Are the scammers

Are the scammers gypsy's/irish travelers from Belvedere????? Sounds like something they would do.

lddist
101
Points
lddist 07/09/09 - 06:11 pm
0
0
I dread getting old...

I dread getting old...

humbleopinion
0
Points
humbleopinion 07/10/09 - 01:47 am
0
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Hey Jen2803, I haven't

Hey Jen2803, I haven't noticed too many black women living in Murphy Village. I also don't think they do their scammin' so close to home.

peace4784
117
Points
peace4784 07/12/09 - 12:37 pm
0
0
People get scammed every
Unpublished

People get scammed every Sunday by giving 10 percent of their money to a government religious corporation. But, since it's sanctioned by the government it's perfectly legal. How many of you fools write your check out to God. Most of you fools write your check out to some government chartered religious corporation. God does not give tax receipts, only government corporations do that. That is the biggest scam of all.

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