York Region police are looking for two suspects in what they are calling a “romance and painted money scam” that left one woman defrauded of $200,000.
A 59-year-old woman from the Town of Georgina started dating a man in 2012 she met online who later began requesting money for some emergency issues he was facing, police said.
He also began convincing her to make profitable investments.
“He started telling her that he has this large amount of money and they need cleaning solution to clean the money,” said police spokesperson Const. Laura Nicolle.
Last November, the victim also met a second man, believed to be a friend or associate of the first suspect, who also requested money to clean painted money, said Nicolle.
The victim gave $30,000 to the second suspect.
In total, the woman had been defrauded of $200,000, police said.
On Dec. 29, the woman called police after the first suspect came to her home with two packages full of white powder and asked her for more money.
When the woman refused to give him money, police say the suspect became verbally abusive.
“He fled when the woman said she was calling police,” said Nicolle.
Police concluded that the packages were not harmful. But that led to a deeper investigation into where her money was going.
Police are looking for a man between the ages of 30 to 40 years old, six feet tall, 185 lbs with black hair and brown eyes. He went by the name of John.
The second suspect went by the name of Adam and is described as between the ages of 30 to 40 years old.
“York Region police reminds residents that awareness and prevention is the best protection against fraud,” police said in a statement. “There are many types of scams with a variety of tricks and tactics used by the suspects. But the goal is the same, suspects are looking to take as much money as they can from their victims.”
Police is asking anyone with information to the incident to contact the York Regional Police Major Fraud Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6612 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.