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Detectives Looking for Fake Cop Scamming Elderly Women For Tens of Thousands of Dollars

SPD Fraud Detectives are looking for a con artist who’s been posing as a cop and ripping off elderly Seattle residents for tens of thousands of dollars.

So far, police know the suspect has targeted at least six women, swindling them for more than $75,000.

The scam works like this:

A man going by “Captain Jack Truska,” “Sgt. Drumbowski” or some other gruff TV cop name phones elderly women at their homes and says he’s investigating banks for passing counterfeit money to their customers.

After questioning his victims—who are all between 78 and 90 years old—about their jewelry and money and whether they’ve had any cash or checks stolen recently, the fake cop asks his victims if they can help him in a “sting operation.”

The suspect then convinces his victims their bank is involved in a counterfeiting operation and asks them to withdraw tens of thousands of dollars so he can check the serial numbers.

Several of the victims told police the suspect spent a great deal of time talking to them on the phone—even putting some of them on hold so he could “take another call”—and phoned them from a busy-sounding office, in an apparent effort to make himself sound like a real-life detective working the case.

The suspect was able to convince five of the women he targeted to withdraw tens of thousands of dollars from their bank accounts. All of the women later met a man posing as a plainclothes officer near the bank and handed the cash—which they believed was evidence in a counterfeiting case—over to the fake cop. A sixth woman targeted in the scam got suspicious and never went to meet with the suspect.

While detectives work to track down the suspect in this case, here are a few tips to remember:

  • Police don’t just randomly call people at home and ask them to participate in sting operations.
  • Police also won’t call you from a blocked number and won’t ask you to provide thousands of dollars for an investigation.
  • If you do receive a call from someone claiming to be a police officer, always feel free to verify that they are who they say they are.
  • You can find contact numbers for a number of the the Seattle Police Department’s investigative units in our directory.
  • If you have a family member who you feel may be vulnerable to a scam like this, please discuss the case with them and help them set up preventative measures, like limits on cash and check withdrawals from their bank accounts.

If you have any information about the case or believe you or a family member may have been targeted by the suspect, please contact Seattle police at (206) 625-5011.