Con Man Targets Vietnamese Seniors
|Vietnamese Gardener II by Myra Evans|
"Several elderly Vietnamese residents have reported to WPD that they had been conned out of several thousand dollars by a subject who had seemed so sincere," reports Van Woodson, the Westminster Police Department's public information officer.
He approaches elderly Vietnamese people coming out of church, engages them in conversation and then asks for their assistance.
"The suspect claims to be an African immigrant who has just inherited a fortune from a rich Beverly Hills relative," Woodson says. "The suspect claims to share his victim's religious faith and says that he wants to donate several thousand dollars to their church."
However, due to his non-resident status, the man tells his marks, he is unable to legally make any donations.
"The victims agree to make the large donation (as much as $20,000) to their church on behalf of the suspect, but the suspect never produces any such donation," Woodson continues. "Then, the suspect asks his victims to give him a few thousand dollars (as much as $7,000) of their own as a good-faith gesture."
He explains the gesture shows the donors are trustworthy and will not keep the man's money for themselves. Usually, someone else contacts the marks to confirm the con's Beverly Hills inheritance story.
Once he gets money from his victims, the con man disappears and his marks figure out they were duped.
The only description of him is he is black.
Westminster Police hope getting the word out about the scams will cause others to come forward and that clues to his identity will be developed.