BREA : Con Artists Fail to Cash In on Victims

Two elderly women were the targets of what Brea police call "the old bank examiner's scam."

Two unidentified people involved in the scam remain at large, but without the cash they sought from their victims.

One of the con artists first called an 83-year-old woman on Friday, asking her to assist in an internal bank investigation, Detective Manuel Ramos said Wednesday. On Saturday they called an 86-year-old woman.

Both women agreed to withdraw money from their accounts and take it to a nearby fast-food restaurant, where they were told a bank representative would meet them.

But things didn't work out the way the con artists hoped, police said. The first woman withdrew the money but got lost trying to find the restaurant. And the second woman wasn't able to withdraw the money.

When the 86-year-old arrived at the restaurant Saturday afternoon without the money, she was told to try it again Monday. Instead, she called police when she returned home.

Ramos said police also were called after the 83-year-old woman, who couldn't find the restaurant, went back to her bank to redeposit the cash and told the teller what happened.

Police describe one suspect, who was waiting in the restaurant, as a woman with a dark complexion, in her 40s or 50s and weighing about 150 pounds. The suspect on the phone identified himself to the first woman as Mr. O'Conner and as Mr. Thompson to the second.

Ramos cautioned that bank examiners, auditors and investigators do not ask bank customers to become involved in internal investigations.

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