Elderly CU Member Caught In 'JamaicanSwitch'

Register now

EL CAJON, Calif. - (07/28/05) -- An 85-year-old member of San DiegoCounty CU was swindled out of $20,000 by a man and a womanpretending to need help handling large amounts of cash, a so-calledJamaican switch. The elderly victim saw the pair wrap the cash in abandana, but left before he opened the bundle and found onlynewspaper clippings. The man told the victim he was from Africa anddidn't trust banks, but wanted to donate money to charity. A womanappeared to overhear the conversation and agreed that she wouldalso like to make a donation to charity. The two agreed to pooltheir money and give it to the old man if he would put $20,000 ofhis own money into the pool, promising him they would eventuallygive him all of the money to disperse to any charity he wanted. Theelderly man then withdrew the money from his credit union and thewoman pretended to also withdraw $20,000, after which the malestranger appeared to wrap it all in a bandana, before they left thescene with the elderly victim $20,000 the poorer.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.