RSS feed of this blog

Stafford County man loses $26,500 in scam

A Stafford County man was recently conned out of $26,500 by a man who convinced him he had won a $2.5 million sweepstakes, police said.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bill Kennedy said the victim, who is in his 60s, received a call from a man who identified himself as “Ray Kingston.” Kingston told the victim he was going to deliver $38,000 as an initial payment, but the victim would first have to pay $7,000 in taxes.

The victim sent the money to an address in Florida, then received a call from Kingston saying that he had made a mistake and that the taxes were actually another $7,000. The victim sent that money and Kingston agreed to meet him at his bank in Stafford on Thursday with two FBI agents, an accountant and a delivery team.

Kennedy said that a couple of hours before the scheduled meeting, Kingston called the victim again and told him he needed to send more money, this time $2,000.

Kingston didn’t show up for the scheduled meeting, but called that night and apologized and rescheduled the meeting for Friday.

He also requested and received more money from the victim for the ever-increasing tax bill.

The victim returned to his bank on Friday for yet another scheduled meeting, but again Kingston didn’t appear. Kingston then called the victim and said he was at the bank, but the victim told him he was at the wrong bank, and Kingston again said he was on the way.

The con man called 45 minutes later and said he had been stopped by the Stafford Sheriff’s Office for running a red light and was being detained because he had $38,000 in cash and police suspected he was a drug dealer. He told the victim he needed another $500 to pay the Sheriff’s Office to check out his story.

The victim finally became suspicious and called the Sheriff’s Office himself. It was then that he learned he had been the victim of a scam.

Kennedy said the victim sent money to the con man on five or six different occasions over several days.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404