A 62-year-old woman battling cancer was reportedly scammed out of $600,000 of her life savings by two men in Port Maria, St Mary, on Tuesday.
It is understood that the money was earmarked to cover her medical expenses. The incident was confirmed by the Port Maria Police Station on Thursday when checks were made by THE WEEKEND STAR. This is the second incident in recent weeks in which the news team has received reports of a senior citizen being conned by two men. In the previous incident on June 9, a 73-year-old Kingston woman said she was scammed of $358,000 by a man who led her to believe that she was helping him to collect money from his mother overseas. The victim told the news team that the scammer was aided and abetted by a man who claimed to be a pastor. That matter was reported to the Elletson Road Police Station.
In the latest incident, Ms Green* told the news team a similar story as one of the men convinced her to help him collect money from a relative overseas. He was also accompanied by a ‘pastor’. The mother of four said she was in Port Maria Square when she was initially approached. She told THE WEEKEND STAR that she gave the men US$2,500 (approximately $374,000) and $300,000, monies that she was saving at home. She decided to give them the money after they convinced her that it would be used to open the account, which was necessary to receive the money from overseas. She also alleged that on their way to a bank in Port Maria, the men stopped along a roadway and the pastor instructed the other man to place the money under a tree with stones surrounding it. Ms Green said the alleged pastor told her to exit the vehicle and that he was going by the tree to ‘bless’ the money. The Kingston woman gave similar details. Ms Green said she became suspicious and began calling the pastor who had given her a cell number.
“Him tell me say him deh a di bridge a drive come round and him soon reach. When mi see say it a tek him too long fi reach me … mi start get even more suspicious,” she said. Ms Green also theorised that she may have been drugged as the pastor sprayed her hands with a chemical, which she was told was hand sanitiser, that may have caused her to lose consciousness periodically.
*NAME CHANGED TO PROTECT IDENTITY