OXFORD, OH (FOX19) - Police in Oxford are investigating a scam that led to a 72-year-old woman losing $50,000.
The heist started back in December on West Central Avenue in Oxford and continued through February. The offender was introduced to the victim by an acquaintance who has since moved to Florida.
The victim told police the suspect continued to come over. A police report says the offender: “Told her that he was starting a non-profit company called TESPA to help underprivileged children.”
Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser said he can’t comment on the case, but these types of stories happen far too often.
“It’s really an unreported crime in our society. It’s really at epidemic proportions,” Gmoser said.
The victim handed over $25,000 over two months to help what she thought was underprivileged children. She also, according to the report, handed over her Discover card where the suspect charged up $14,000.
It turns out TESPA is not a nonprofit. In fact, it’s a computer gaming company.
Police said the suspect began coming to her home with another unnamed suspect. They allegedly told her they were both sophomores at Miami University. Police did a search of the names she gave and they turned out to be two people who haven’t been in the area for two years.
The report states the victim gave one of the suspects "$9,000 cash to buy a round trip plane ticket to Alaska to visit his sister who was on life support.”
The prosecutor said people can use sites like Charity Navigator to check and see if the non-profits they are donating to are real.
The victim began to figure things out when the suspects stopped responding to her. Her bank called her about potential bank fraud when one of the suspects attempted to steal $5,000 dollars from her account.
Police say the case is still under investigation.