Muskogee Police seek public's help in catching a con-artist

Monday, July 19th 2004, 10:17 am
By: News On 6

A con artist is working in Green Country. Her most recent victim is an 81-year old woman in Muskogee.

Police have a scam warning so others can avoid the same fate. News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright explains how the con works.

Winnie has always felt safe in Muskogee until last Wednesday when she encountered a crook that she calls pure evil.

Winnie stopped at Wal-Mart and was approached by a woman with a box of cash who said men loading a truck dropped it and sped off. The woman said she worked at a bank and asked for a ride.

Winnie took the woman to a bank and she came outside, she said the bank president said they'd get to keep the money, but must pay state taxes first and Winnie's part was $8,900. The bank president even called and verified the whole story. "I was supposed to get half of the money.

There was $62,000 in the box, the president said." So, Winnie went to her credit union and used a credit card to withdraw the cash. "Got in the car and she grabbed it and jumped out and there were cars so I couldn't see where she went." This same scam happened here two years ago, that victim lost $10,000. Shannon Humphrey, Muskogee Police: "A prize is a prize. A reward is a reward. You never have to pay for a prize or reward. You never have to pay."

Muskogee Police have the surveillance tapes from this store and the other stores where the suspect and victim went, but, they don't know what to look for. They need someone who was here last Wednesday who saw the suspect or was approached by the suspect to come forward.

Winnie must now pay off the $10,000 credit card bill and is devastated by the money loss and loss of trust she now feels. Winnie: "I wasn't mad; I was just beside myself, worried."

Muskogee Police want to know if anybody else in the area has been approached with the same scam. If so, you can call 918-682-COPS.

The con artist was a white lady in her 30's with blonde hair and twice now, she's used the same story, complete with the bank president calling and talking to the victim.

Winnie's daughter was just thankful she wasn't hurt and Winnie's advice is to never let anyone in your car if you don't know them.