General Crime

Pair Scam Victim Out of $25,000 in Hayward

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A suspect scammed a man out of more than $25,000 in Fremont last week by posing as the heir to a Kenyan fortune, according to police. Around 6:55 p.m. last Friday, a male suspect approached a man at Costco, located at 43621 Pacific Commons Blvd., and said he was looking for a church where he could donate his Kenyan mother’s fortune, police said. Police said the victim agreed to help the suspect and the pair were met by a second suspect posing as a stranger who also agreed to help and handed over $2,000 as a show of good faith.

The suspect asked the victim to put down some money in good faith as well, and the victim drove to his bank in San Jose, withdrew $1,800 and handed it over to the suspect. The two suspects drove the victim to the Southland Mall in Hayward to buy a gift to thank the victim, settling on a $24,000 Rolex watch, according to police. When it came time to purchase the watch, the suspect said he had forgotten his money, so the victim paid with his credit car with the understanding that he would be reimbursed when they returned to his car.

In a final test of faith, the suspects asked the victim to drive around the parking lot and return to pick them up. The victim complied, and when he returned to pick up the suspects, they had vanished. A police report described the incident as an example of “an age-old scam that sadly still works.” Police are investigating the incident but so far have not made any arrests.

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