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November 22, 2012

Scam nearly dupes woman


They found Marinez “visibly upset ... She was shaking, appeared anxious and was pleading with the unknown male to ‘please don’t hurt my father,’” according to a police report.

Police instructed her, using hand-written notes, to “keep calm (and) keep the alleged kidnappers on the phone.” They had her place the call on speaker so they could listen.

As she was speaking with the man, police officer Maurice Aguiler provided her with written instructions enabling them to gauge the veracity of the allegations while also obtaining information that could be independently verified by another officer, Jaime Adames.

As the conversation continued, Adames called Marinez’ father.

“He stated that he was at work and had not experienced anything out of the ordinary on this day,” Aguiler wrote in the police report.

At one point, Aguiler spoke directly with the caller, he said in his report.

The man said Marinez’ father would be “killed if the money wasn’t gathered within the next few minutes.”

But the caller hung up after being unable to prove that he had the woman’s father.

As she looks back on the incident, Marinez can’t believe she believed him, as the story behind the kidnapping became more and more outlandish.

“I offered to give him cash, but he said he wanted me to go to Walgreen’s and buy a pre-paid AT&T card,” she said. The man would then instruct her how to wire the money to him.

“I said, ‘When do I get to speak to my father?’” she said. “He said, ‘Oh, he’s in my brother’s apartment. I’m not near there.’”

Then the man told her that her father was injured, and had a head wound.

“He said his brother was keeping my father with guns,” she said. “It sounded like a cowboy movie. He probably watches a lot of TV.”

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