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Sep-26-2007 23:42printcomments

Oregon Woman Scammed by Promise of Gold

A woman was tricked into handing over $1,000 in exchange for gold that was never delivered.

Surveillance pictures from Oregon gold scam, 9-27-07
Surveillance pictures of one suspect from Wells Fargo Bank

(CANBY, Ore.) - A 29-year old Canby woman told police she was scammed out of $1000.00 Monday by two men who approached her in a store. The woman told police she was shopping in the Canby Fred Meyer when she was approached by a man she described as an older Hispanic male.

Officer Chris Mead with Canby Police, says the older male handed the victim an envelope and asked if she could help him locate a person in the Canby area. "The victim told the older male that she could not help him because there was no address on the envelope."

"At this time," he continued, "she said a younger Hispanic male approached them and the older male asked him the same question. The younger male replied that he could not help because there was not enough information on the envelope."

Mead says the older male then told the woman that his uncle had been injured in a traffic accident and was in the hospital. "The younger male then opened the envelope and took out a letter and read it. The victim told officers the letter mentioned gold," Mead said.

"The older male then told them that he had located a suitcase full of gold bars at the scene of the traffic crash where his uncle was injured. The older male told the victim he was trying to return the suitcase to the owners and then planned to ask them for money for his uncle's medical bills."

The younger male is then alleged to have told the older male he should sell the gold bars himself and give the money to his uncle since there was no way to locate the owners, Mead said. "The younger male tells the older male that he used to work for Fred Meyer and knew someone in the jewelry department."

"The older male agreed to give the younger male a piece of gold to show the jeweler. The younger male then returns a short time later with what appeared to be a large amount of cash in a plastic bag."

The younger male is alleged to have told the older male and victim that he was given $10,000 to $15,000 for the gold by Fred Meyer jewelers. The younger male told the older male and victim that the jeweler could not buy anymore gold until 7:00 PM.

That Mead says, is when the older male told them that he could not wait that long, so the younger male offered to buy gold from the older male and then return to sell it later.

"The younger male convinced the victim to take them to the bank so she could withdraw $1000.00 to purchase some of the gold. The victim took both of the suspects to the Canby Wells Fargo Bank."

According to the victim, the older male waited outside while the younger male came into the bank with her. As they entered the bank, the younger male put on a pair of sunglasses.

After withdrawing the money, the victim said she returned to Fred Meyer with the suspects. The younger male gave her a phone number and the name "Arturo". Mead says he told the victim to return to Fred Meyer at 7:00 PM to get the gold.

"The victim came to Fred Meyer at 7:00 PM and the suspects never returned. She attempted to call the phone number and found it came back to a business not the suspect."

Mead says the victim, who is also Hispanic, told police she was embarrassed and did not know what to do and that is why she delayed calling the police.

"She describes the suspects as an older Hispanic male that was in his 50's or 60's. He was about 4' 10" tall and had a thin build. He had a dark complexion and a thin mustache. He appeared dirty and poor wearing a straw hat, brown shirt and blue jeans."

The younger male was described by the victim as being Hispanic, about 35 years old and had light skin. She said he was taller and had a medium build with short brown curly hair. He was wearing a white button down shirt and dark slacks. The victim said he appeared clean and well spoken.

Mead asks that anyone who may recognizes the suspect in these pictures, please contact the Canby Police Department at 503 266-1104.

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