A 70-year-old Alexandria woman was tricked by strangers this week into giving up $2,100 in exchange for a promise of $80,000, Alexandria police said yesterday.
Police Sgt. Archie Hall said the victim, whom he declined to name, was walking near Queen and St. Asaph Streets in Old Town Alexandria not far from her home about 11 a.m. Wednesday when a middle-aged woman wearing a red, green and yellow print dress approached and asked her if she had seen a friend named Marsha.
As the two women were talking, "Marsha" showed up, another middle-aged woman wearing a blue print blouse and blue skirt, Hall said. The woman was carrying a book that she said she had found. Opening the book, Hall said, "Marsha" found a compartment inside containing a note and some tickets.
"Marsha" left, saying she would get advice from her employer, a lawyer, Hall said. On her return about 15 minutes later, he said, "Marsha" said the attorney told her there was money concealed in the book and had promised to divide it among the women.
After getting the Alexandria woman to take them to her home, the two persuaded her to withdraw $1,400 from the bamk and give it to them along with $700 in cash she had at home as evidence of her "good faith" as part of a supposed transaction in which she was promised $80,000, Hall said.
Having completed the swindle, the two women left, Hall said, and "neither has been seen since."