Saturday, June 25, 2011

Man conned $1,000 by a “Kenyan elder”

A man told Denton, TX police he fell victim to an apparent scam when a woman claiming to be a tribal elder from Kenya asked him to help her donate money to an African church.

The man said the woman approached him at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at a convenience store at University Drive and Denison Street, saying she was on her way back to Kenya after receiving a $100,000 settlement from her uncle’s life insurance policy, according to a police report released Thursday.

The man told police that the woman, who called herself “Queen Naomi,” said she needed help donating the money, and he agreed to give her a ride in his car. The man said he later picked up a male stranger outside a fast-food restaurant who also agreed to help with the donation, the report states.

The woman then asked them to prove they had a safe place to keep the money, so the man went to his bank on West University Drive and withdrew $1,000, according to his account to police. The man said they parked outside a nearby restaurant, and the woman asked him to place the $1,000 into a rolled-up blue bandanna that was “blessed” by the elders in her tribe, since it would be a “good omen,” according to the police report.

He told police he gave her the money and she wrapped it inside the bandanna, where her insurance money supposedly was. The male stranger then claimed he’d lost his cellphone, so the man said he exited the car to help look for it.

When he returned, the woman quickly left, according to the report. He said he later found the bandanna and discovered it was filled only with strips of newspaper.

He described the woman as black, in her late 50s, about 5-foot-4 and very thin. He said she had short white hair and spoke with an “African accent,” according to the report.
Police took the bandanna into evidence.

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