Detectives from the Montgomery County Police-Financial Crimes Section are investigating two cases of fraud that have occurred in the Montrose Crossing Shopping Center in North Bethesda. Investigators want to warn residents of this type of scheme and caution residents against engaging with people who approach them in parking lots with financial offers.
On July 26 at approximately 6:16 p.m., a 68-year-old female victim was approached by a male and female suspect in the parking lot of the Giant grocery store (located at 12051 Rockville Pike). The suspects stated that if the victim gave them $1,700.00, the suspects could invest the money and get a return of $400,000.00. The victim withdrew money from the Bank of America (located at 12099 Rockville Pike) and gave the suspects $1,700.00. The suspects walked away and were never seen again. The first suspect is described as a black male, 6’00” tall, and 30 to 35 years old. He was wearing a white, button-down shirt and brown pants. The second suspect is described as a black female with a short stature and wearing capri style pants.
On August 6, a 77-year-old male was approached by two male suspects in the parking lot of the Bank of America (located at 12099 Rockville Pike). The first suspect showed the victim what appeared to be a large amount of cash and stated that he did not trust banks. During the conversation, both suspects were able to convince the victim to withdraw $10,000 from a SunTrust Bank in Bethesda. After the victim withdrew the money, the suspects convinced him to give them the money. The suspects told the victim they were going to go get food and never returned. In this incident, the first suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’09” tall, age 40-45, with a Jamaican accent. He was wearing a brown jacket and a hat. The second suspect is described as a black male, approximately 6’00” tall, with short hair and wearing a white shirt.
The type of fraud demonstrated in these cases is often referred to as a confidence game or confidence scheme. The suspect(s) gain the victim’s trust and confidence in order to defraud the victim of money. Suspects who participate in these confidence games are often smart, persuasive, and aggressive. 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.
If someone believes that he/she may have been a victim of or has information regarding these suspects, please 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.