An elderly man saving thousands of dollars to help his disabled wife was the victim of a cruel scam in Bethesda, Md., earlier this week.
He was approached by two men in a Bank of America parking lot at 12099 Rockville Pike Aug. 6.
One man, who spoke in a Jamaican accent, showed the 77-year-old victim what appeared to be a large amount of cash and stated that he did not trust U.S. banks, according to police.
During the conversation, both suspects were able to convince the victim to drive them to a SunTrust Bank in Bethesda and withdraw $10,000. The victim said he did that to show the men they could trust U.S. banks. He let one of the men hold the cash.
"He had all this money, and I believed him," the victim said. "I believed his story."
After they got the cash, the two men then told him they were going to go get food but never returned.
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"It really hurts," the victim told News4's Darcy Spencer. "Just makes you feel like you don't want to trust anybody anymore. I can't believe I was that gullible to go along with this."
The first suspect is described as a black male, about 5'9", and around 40 to 45 years old with a Jamaican accent. He was wearing a brown jacket and hat. The second suspect is described as a black male, six feet tall, with short hair and wearing a white shirt.
"I should have known better but I didn't," the victim said. "I want to make sure they get prosecuted properly for taking advantage of a senior citizen."
Just last month, a 68-year-old woman fell victim to a similar scam. She was approached by a man and woman in the parking lot of a Giant grocery story located at 12051 Rockville Pike July 26. They told her that if she gave them $1,700, they could invest the money and get a return of $400,000. The victim withdrew the money from her bank account and gave it to the suspects who walked away. She never saw them again.
The male suspect is described as black, six feet tall and 30 to 35 years old. He was wearing a white buttoned-down shirt and brown pants. The female suspect is described as black with a short stature and wearing capri style pants.
Investigators say the type of fraud demonstrated in these cases is often referred to as a confidence game or confidence scheme. The suspects gain the victim's trust in order to defraud the victim of money.
Police recommend potential victims question possible scammers when they feel as though they may be taken advantage of.
"As soon as you begin asking questions, these suspects will probably leave," Montgomery County Police Officer Janelle Smith said.
If someone believes that they have been a victim or has information regarding these suspects, you are asked to call the Financial Crimes Section at 240-773-6330. Those who have information about the suspects can remain anonymous by calling Crime Solvers of Montgomery County at 1-866-411-8477.