CRIME

Fairfax County scammers take thousands of dollars from unwitting victims

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Two people were scammed out of thousands of dollars last week in Fairfax County in a scheme reminiscent two similar incidents that happened in Montgomery County this month.

Fairfax County Police say that the incidents in their county happened on Aug. 5 and 6, both of which took place in the parking lots of Home Depot stores.

On the 5th, authorities say that a suspect approached a 30-year-old man at the Home Depot in Seven Corners, flashed a wad of cash and asked for a ride to Washington. The victim obliged.

At some point during the ride, the two engaged in a conversation about the safety of banking in the United States. That led to the suspect convincing the victim to hand over $9,000.

The next day, a pair of suspects approached a 68-year-old man in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Merrifield asking for directions. Somehow, during their encounter, they convinced the victim to withdraw a large amount of money from a bank and give it to them.

In both cases, the suspects are only described as having thick, foreign, possibly Jamaican accents.

The scam is very similar to one that snared a 77-year-old man in Bethesda earlier in August. At that time, the victim says that a Jamaican man approached him on Rockville Pike, showed two wads of cash and asked for a ride to an apartment. They got on to talking about the safety of banking, after which he was tricked into giving up $10,000 to the men.

Montgomery County Police say that he wasn't the only victim; they believe the same two men scammed $1,700 out of a senior citizen in a separate incident as well.

Authorities in Fairfax County are not saying that there's a definitie link between the scam in their jurisdiction and the ones in Maryland, but they do acknowledge that the entire spate of crimes are very similar.

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