Woman loses $8,000 in scam

An Augusta woman said she was duped into withdrawing $8,000 by two men who claimed they wanted to help a charity but then took her money, according to a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office report.

The woman said she was at the Bi-Lo at 1531 Gordon Highway about 1:45 p.m. Thursday when she was approached by a man who told her he was from Africa and visiting the U.S. because his brother had died in a plane crash. He then told her he had received $300,000 from a settlement from the airline but could not take it back to Africa because he might be killed for having so much money. The man added he would like to give the money to charity.

The man then approached a second man and told him the same story, according to an incident report. The person said he would like to help but had no transportation.

The woman took both men to a Bank of America branch on Gordon Highway. The second man said he withdrew $10,000, and the woman withdrew $8,000 afterward, the report stated.

The men combined their money, placed it in a scarf and prayed over it. They proceeded to do the same thing with the woman’s money, according to the report.

The two men then left on foot while parked by the Walmart at 3209 Deans Bridge Road. The woman said when she opened the scarf it contained only newspaper cut into the shape of money.

Police are examining video surveillance of the checkout aisles at the grocery store.

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