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Con woman alert

By Jasmine Netzler-Iose

The internet has become a tool in shutting down criminal activities, at least in one case so far. A young woman has allegedly been doing the rounds of offices in Apia pretending to be a university student doing research.

She asks the unsuspecting victim to get documents she “needs for research” and while the victim is away, she steals valuable property left lying around. The ‘victims’ have been circulating the perpetrators photo on the net warning about her ‘activities’.

“It is true and it’s not a joke, it happened to my sister,” warns one email, “but it’s best to speak to her about it because I am only a second person in the matter.” Her sister, who has asked to stay anonymous, said the woman asked for information last Wednesday saying it was for some research she was working on for an assignment. “She pretended to be a student of the National University of Samoa.”

A Weekend Observer search indicated that the woman had indeed been registered at the National University “but way back in 2008”. She is no longer on the NUS student roll. Becoming suspicious the ‘victim’ said she took a photo of the alleged scammer. She has circulated this with the warning.

“I told her it was the wrong time to come asking for the information but she was very convincing. She started to cry and say her assignment was due very soon.
The ‘victim’ said she believes it was when she had left to gather the information the woman needed, that she took the opportunity to take her bag.

“I left her to gather the information but when I returned she informed me that she had to get another girl to come back with her and that they were working on the research together, and she left.”

The ‘victim’ told the Weekend Observer she was not aware that her bag had gone missing “but the woman left with a huge bag often seen carried by people overseas for their shopping.”  She was only alerted of the theft after the same woman had gone upstairs to the next level of their office building and took off with another woman’s bag.

“People chased after her and caught up with

her in front of ACC. I want people to be very alert and not to trust strangers and to make sure that they keep all valuable property locked away from easy access by such people,” she said. 

Police had taken the scammer in and questioned her in relation to the two incidents “but they later released her.”
Police could not be reached to confirm if they have charged the woman or not.

The ‘victim’ recovered her bag “but I lost the money and other valuables” that were inside.
“Police returned the bag to me and informed me that they had collected it from a man.”

The warning email states that the woman “has a partner in crime (her own husband)”. “She is very professional and seems to have done all her research because she might act unintelligent but don’t be fooled she is a very good actress,” warned the ‘victim’.

She said she first circulated the electronic warning when she found out that Police had released the woman. She remembers how the woman begged forgiveness from her after she was caught.

“She was in tears and told me that she was sorry but I told her that I didn’t believe her tears but not to do it again in case someone might give her a good beating as a result.”

Since sending out her e-warning many have answered saying they too had fallen victim to this woman’s “scamming charms.”
She believes that Police should locate this woman immediately and charge her for the many offences that she has committed.

The ‘victim’ overheard the woman telling the Police she was from Sinamoga.
The email alert reads;

THIEF ALERT

Hi guys, some of you I know well and others I just happen to have you on my mailing list but just wanted to let you know anyway.

This is no joke …..my sister was the victim of this deceitful person yesterday.  She went and pretended to be an NUS student looking for research information etc.  While the person is distracted looking for her school information (like making copies or getting info from another room), she goes and steals your bag....she had two victims yesterday (my sister included) and was brought in for questioning at the police station and apparently she’s out again.

She is a:
- Good con artist
- Well dressed

- Well mannered
- Has a partner in crime (her own husband)

So beware and keep an eye out for her in case you will fall victim as well.  Thank you.

 

 

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