Photo: Lee County Sheriff’s Office
Police have arrested a Fort Myers, Fla. woman for allegedly bamboozling friends out of $46,000. Morgan M. Johnson, 24, allegedly spent several months convincing three family friends that she was set to inherit half a dozen businesses from a former employer – and pocket $1 billion, according to a police report.
To convince them to loan her cash, Johnson created fake emergencies that “jeopardized the massive amount of money she was set to inherit,” police say.
She even went so far as to allegedly forge fake bank statements and emails to back up her stories.
Per the report:
“The investigation shows that at that time Johnson began hitting up the acquaintances for money to pay for different “emergencies” including bank levies, fees regarding a child custody battle, even the threat that the bank was moving to foreclose on her home.”
The sympathetic victims told deputies that at the beginning they thought Johnson was the one being scammed by a bank, according to the News-Press.
Johnson’s now faces charges of fraud and grand theft and police are looking into whether there are more potential victims.
Unfortunately, family and friends are often easy targets for con-artists, with senior citizens especially proving to be lucrative victims.
In a recent by the National Institute of Justice found 5 per cent of seniors who fell victim to scams in 2009 were duped by their own relatives. This is a soft spot fraudsters love to take advantage of and is commonly used in investment schemes, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau notes:
“Unfortunately, older Americans are often the targets of investment scams such as Ponzi schemes and illegal offshore investments. Knowing how to spot ‘fraudsters’ can often be challenging, especially when they have been referred by a friend or family.”
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