OAK PARK, Mich. (WJBK) - An Oak Park woman was the victim of fraud twice in the past 10 months and police say in the second crime, one man posed as a police officer who was investigating the first one.
It all started in the parking lot of the Dollar Tree at 9 Mile and Coolidge in October. A senior citizen was approached by a woman with a box that had a large amount of cash. The woman asked the female victim if she wanted some of it - but there's a catch.
This is what's called a pigeon drop scam and is more often than you think. It's like those email scams where you have to send your banking information before they send you 'millions' but instead they take every last dime.
The victim took the female suspect and her accomplice back to her house to get cash but it didn't end there.
"After they left the residence went to our victim's band where she got more funds and they kind of disappeared," Lt. Troy Taylor with Oak Park Police said.
In total, the suspect stole $7,000 from the woman.
Then it got worse. Last month, a man called and said he was investigating the October crime.
"In June she was contacted by phone by someone claiming to be an Oak Park Police investigator who was investigating her previous scam case," Lt. Taylor said.
Then he showed up.
"Stated that they were investigating this case and to further investigate the case, they needed some of her money," he said.
The man, Taylor says, is part of the original scam from October.
The victim, thinking she was going to find the woman who stole her money first time, did as the fake detective told her. She drove him to credit unions in Royal Oak and Madison Heights to get cash and cashier's checks. She was able to get help when they went to a check cashing location on Woodward in Midtown Detroit before the woman became suspicious of his actions.
"Our victim became suspicious of what was going on and ask them to call police," Lt. Taylor.
Before police could get there, the crooks got away, leaving the woman out more than $20,000 in both scams.
"A lot these suspects are smooth talkers and, try to make some sense of this situation. In this case, our victim believed what they were throwing down," Taylor said.
Police are asking you to take a good look at the pictures of the suspect on this story. Anyone who may know who they are is asked to call Oak Park Police.