Montgomery County Police say two men conned a 77-year-old man into withdrawing $10,000 in cash from a Bethesda bank and handing it over to them before they vanished.
The incident, which happened on Tuesday and began at the Montrose Crossing Shopping Center, is similar to another alleged fraud on July 26 in the same shopping center.
Police say two male suspects approached the 77-year-old victim on Tuesday in the parking lot of the Bank of America at 12099 Rockville Pike. The first suspect showed the victim what appeared to be a large amount of cash, stating that he did not trust banks.
Police say that during the conversation, the suspects convinced the victim to withdraw the money from a SunTrust bank in Bethesda. After the victim withdrew the money, police say the suspects convinced him to give them the money. The victim did, the suspects said they were going to get food and they never returned.
The first suspect is described as a black male, about 5-foot-9 tall, age 40 to 45 with a Jamaican accent. Police say he was wearing a brown jacket and a hat. The second suspect is described as a black male, about 6 feet tall, with short hair who was wearing a white shirt.
The incident on July 26 played out similarly, according to police. Around 6:15 p.m. near the Giant grocery store at 12051 Rockville Pike, police say a male and female suspect walked up to a 68-year-old female victim.
The suspects told the victim that if she gave them $1,700, they could invest it and turn it into $400,000. Police say the victim withdrew money from the Bank of American in the shopping center and gave the suspects $1,700.
The suspects simply walked away and weren’t seen again, police said.
The first suspect in that incident is described as a black male, about 6 feet tall and 30 to 35 years old. Police say he was wearing a white, button-down shirt and brown pants. The female suspect is only described as black with capri style pants.
Police say suspects in con schemes such as these are often persuasive, aggressive and smart.
“These suspects hope to confuse and overwhelm victims and convince victims that there is a sense of urgency to make quick decisions. One of the victims in the current cases described the suspects as intimidating and felt threatened by the suspects,” according to a police press release.
Police also warn not to engage people who walk up to you in parking lots with financial offers.
Police are asking anyone who believes that he or she may have been a victim or has information regarding these suspects to call the Financial Crimes Section at 240-773-6330. Those who have information about the suspects and wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or leave a Crime Solvers tip here. Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest and/or indictment for this crime.