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 December 7th, 2012  
St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara asks public's help to identify person of interest in case of two Port St. Lucie residents being scammed out of $7,000
Two Port St. Lucie residents in their 60s were scammed out of $7,000 by three men whose identities are unknown. Now, St. Lucie County Sheriff Mascara is asking if anyone recognizes a man who was in two banks at the same time as the victims last Oct. 30, where they withdrew money.

"The man shown in the two bank surveillance photos was in the JP Morgan Chase bank at 130 S. Entrada Road, Port St. Lucie, and in another bank where the victims withdrew money," Sheriff Mascara said. "We just got the bank surveillance photos from the bank, and we need to know this man's identity so we can question him."

Anyone with information is asked to call 9-1-1 in St. Lucie County or St. Lucie County Sheriff's detectives at 772-462-3230. Those who want to give their tips anonymously and be eligible for a cash reward if the tip leads to arrest can call Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-8477 ("TIPS"), give their tip on the Crime Stoppers website tcwatch.org or text "Tip 151" plus the tip to 274637.

According to detectives three suspects persuaded the couple to withdraw the money from the bank, saying they had $100,000 that they could not take from the country when they left. They told the victims they wanted to donate $70,000 to charity and the victims could keep $30,000.

But first, the scammers said, they need to know how much money the victims had in the bank, which would supposedly help the scammers determine that the victim couple wouldn't just keep the money from the suspects.

This enticed the victims to withdraw $7,000 from their bank account, and the suspects then distracted the victims and stole the money.

"The holiday season is the time of year when the scammers are working hard to steal your money while you're distracted," Sheriff Mascara said. "Remember: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

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