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Scam artist targeting MIT community

MIT Police are alerting the MIT community to a scam artist tricking unsuspecting members of the MIT community.

According to an e-mail to the MIT community from Sgt. Cheryl D. Vossmer of the MIT Police, the suspect, described as a middle-aged black man of medium build, is known to wear business attire and approach his victims with a story of personal misfortune. Some stories he has offered include his car being towed, his child needing medication, and his wife staying in the hospital.

After explaining he has lost his wallet or credit card, the suspect then allegedly asks his victim for money. To gain his victim’s trust, he offers his cell phone number; victims called this number in his presence to confirm it is legitimate, but the phone number he offers cannot be traced.

In exchange for cash, the suspect has also offered to write his victims a check, which later bounces. According to Vossmer’s e-mail, “victims have lost anywhere from pocket money to several hundred dollars.”

MIT Police recommend calling 617-253-1212, or 100 on a campus phone, if approached by a stranger asking for money.

Maggie Lloyd