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WOMAN LOSES $25,000 TO SCAM ARTIST IN BLACK ROCK

A Black Rock resident apparently has lost $25,000 to a scam artist who claimed to be a police officer investigating counterfeit money, Northwest District police said Tuesday.

The scam was pulled off Monday morning, but police didn't learn about it until Tuesday afternoon -- after the woman had mentioned it to relatives.

"Obviously they knew what happened," Lt. Michael March said.

The lieutenant described what happened:

The victim answered the door to a man who identified himself as a police officer and showed some type of badge.

He reportedly told her there was a large amount of counterfeit money in her bank account, and asked her to withdraw it and give it to him to investigate.

She went to a neighborhood bank, where she has an account, and withdrew $25,000. Then, as arranged, she met the man outside the Black Rock Plaza and turned over the money.

"She didn't think anything of it until she told her family," March said.

After police were notified, Northwest District Capt. Al Damiani called in detectives to begin their investigation.

Police have not released a description of the man.

Among the questions detectives are asking is why the $25,000 withdrawal didn't raise a red flag at the bank. "We can't make anything of that right now," March said.

Police declined to identify the bank branch where the transaction occurred.

In the meantime, police want to warn other Black Rock residents who may be targeted in the scam. The request to withdraw money in an investigation simply isn't done, March said.

"The police wouldn't ask for that," he said.