Police Request Assistance in Identifying Money Scam Artist
September 19, 2016
On June 17, 2016 a woman reported a money scam to the Kingsport Police Department. She stated that she had received a message on FaceBook from someone masquerading as her friend, requesting assistance in claiming a large sum of money from an online government grant. The unidentified suspect instructed her to pay a substantial delivery fee in advance via MoneyGram.
The victim followed these instructions, sending the MoneyGram from Wal-Mart, located at 2500 West Stone Drive in Kingsport. Seven minutes later, the suspect claimed the money at the other Kingsport Wal-Mart, located across town at 3200 Fort Henry Drive. The suspect then attempted to extort additional funds out of the victim by alleging that the Internal Revenue Service had placed a hold on the money.
A photo of the female suspect, captured on Wal-Mart surveillance video, has been included in this release. Anyone who can help Detectives identify her is asked to contact the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division at 423-229-9429 or call Kingsport Central Dispatch at 423-246-9111.
Alternatively, if an individual who is able to supply information related to this or any other case wishes not to be identified, tips can be submitted anonymously via online “Citizen Feedback” forms available at the following link:
The Kingsport Police Department continues to urge citizens to be wary of this type of scam and to remember the old adage that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
This news release has been update to reflect that the previously featured “suspect” is not longer being considered a “suspect.” She appears to be an additional “victim” who was being used as an unwitting pawn in the scam. Her photo has been removed.
Thomas M. Patton, Public Information Officer
Kingsport Police Department Professional Standards Unit