(FOX19) - Hamilton County's Organized Crime Unit is investigating individuals suspected to be involved in a scheme commonly known as the "Black Money Scam."
The "Black Money Scam" is performed when con artists attempt to fraudulently obtain money from a victim by persuading them that piles of bank-note sized paper is really money which has been dyed black. The suspects demonstrate how a certain chemicals can clean the black ink from the bills, but claim the chemicals are very expensive to purchase.
The victim is persuaded to give the con-artists funds to purchase chemicals to wash the "money." Scammers reportedly tell victims the money was dyed black to avoid detection by customs agents.
The suspects take the victim's money and promise to return with chemicals and share in the proceeds. The victim is left with a pile of what appears to be U.S. currency covered in dye, but is in fact construction paper cut to look like money.
Agents with Hamilton County's Organized Crime Unit have questioned three possible suspects after finding several prop items inside a local hotel that were being used to facilitate the "Black Money Scam." Officials did not name the hotel but said it was located in a suburban area along Interstate 71.
Officials said the suspects had just arrived in Cincinnati from either New Jersey or Pennsylvania. They have not yet found any local victims of the scam.
The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said the scam has been seen nationwide and they're warning local residents to be aware. They ask anymore with information on possible suspects to contact them at 513-241-2390.