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Pair trusted a man who said he could get funds to China quickly, but all he did quickly was run away with their money, police say

$30,000 wanted guy

Surveillance photos of the suspects via BPD.

Boston Police reports two people having trouble transferring money to relatives in China got hooked up with a guy who said he could take care of it, but after they handed over $30,000 in a meeting in Kenmore Square, the guy ran away.

Police say the two began searching online for fast ways to transfer money to China after running into delays with the traditional banking system.

The two victims were referred to a chat group via a messenger app where they spoke with an unknown individual who claimed that they could assist them with these transactions. After three days of communicating with the unknown party, they agreed to meet with the unidentified suspect, shown in the images above, at which time they agreed to give him $30,000 in U.S. Currency with the understanding that the suspect would then deposit Chinese Currency in the same amount to the family members of the victims. Upon receiving the U.S. Currency, the suspect counted the money and then fled the area on foot.

If Mr. Money Changer looks familiar, contact detectives at 617-343-5619 or the anonymous tip line by calling 800-494-TIPS or by texting TIP to CRIME (27463).

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Comments

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Voting closed 30

Imagine you’re not from around here and you have absolutely no idea how anything works here. Not just “I don’t know how banking works,” but “I have no idea what the obvious markers are that someone who is from around here would use to figure out of a deal seems legit or not. Imagine being from such a different cultural context that you simply don’t have the experience and context that would normally be the foundation on which a gut feeling that “whoa, this is an obvious scam” would be built.

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Voting closed 56

Then you have enough brains to know about Western Union or Alipay.

WU is huge and sends money to China from the US.

It is when you send such a large sum that it gets flagged.

PS - They have banks in China too.

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Voting closed 48

Money does not equal, or even imply brains, or financial savvy. These unfortunate people may have worked their tails off for years in some small business, saving every penny they could, to collect that $30K. For you to show up, waving your privilege around and judging them without knowing anything about them is pretty insensitive. Quel surprise.

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Voting closed 45

I have (had) immigrant parents, one whom had an 8th grade education, the other a high school one.

They worked hard and were smart enough not to hand anyone $30k in cash, mostly because my dad never made that much until his 50's.

When did having enough common sense not to hand someone you don't know equate to one having privilege?

Go away.

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Voting closed 32

Your privilege is not evidenced by your claim that you know better than to hand your savings to a stranger, but by your judgementalism of these people you know nothing about.

Bite me

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Voting closed 27

You have no idea why these people needed to get money to China faster than the usual methods.
Innocent people are scammed every day. And then they often don’t report if for fear of the same kind of ridicule you are exhibiting. Best hope it never happens to you or someone you care about.

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Voting closed 36

Too bad they didn't accidently catch on fire so you could insult them.

Give it up Pee Wee.

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Voting closed 26

I ask because you’re more irrational than usual.

On second thought, nevermind.

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Voting closed 26

Innocent people are scammed every day.

Data point: At one point I did some information security work. The very best phishing e-mails get a response rate well into the double digits among trained bank employees.

Scammers are good at their craft. Not everyone who gets scammed is a stone cold moron.

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Voting closed 26

"...and your modern ways and global banking regulations scare and confuse me."

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Voting closed 13

When people lampoon victims of these crimes, others are less likely to come forward and admit when they are robbed which allows the criminals to continue their scams.

The best thing is for every one of these scams to be publicized broadly without shaming the victim. That will help others not fall pray to the scams and make it harder for the con artists to be successful.

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Voting closed 45

for immigrants who prey on their own people.

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Voting closed 25

the suspect counted the money and then fled the area on foot.

It's good to have scammers astute enough to not be shortchanged by their victims.

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Voting closed 23

Who trusts a stranger with that much money?
Were they looking for a way to transfer money without declaring it? Something is fishy.

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Voting closed 29

But then why would they report it to the police?

My thought was a medical emergency or a bribe to protect someone in custody and they couldn’t wait for the usual banking delays.

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Voting closed 24

Foolish people report things to the police that incriminate themselves all the time. “He stole my drugs, I paid the hooker $300 and she ran away’” etc.

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Voting closed 16

I thought maybe it was because given how specialized and bureaucratized the police state is in China, that the person could be banned from External Money transfer (or perhaps be over some limit) but not for internal money transfer.

The other option I could think of is that the money was borrowed from some kind of Peer to Peer lending relationship and WU/AP would ask to many KYC questions.

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Voting closed 13

People fall for scams that their loved ones are in peril unless they send cash / gift card #s / etc through some odd mechanism because reasons. That your grandson sounds funny because of a broken jaw but it's totally him because [details scraped from social media], so it must be true.

When I get those robo calls in a language I don't speak, I assume it's that sort of scam.

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Voting closed 16