West Phila. woman, 95, scammed out of $5000

WEST PHILADELPHIA - August 16, 2012

The money is gone, the suspects on the run. But one of them was captured on surveillance at the bank.

"Yes, I am angry at myself. I am really angry."

95-year-old Minnie Reavis blames herself for falling for the scam.

Monday afternoon, she was leaving her bank at 56th and Haverford with $700 in cash and another $200 in checks. A woman came up and told her an elaborate story about finding some money.

She would share it with Minnie if she helped pay the taxes on it, and to do that Minnie would need to give her $4000. Minnie agreed and got into a car with the woman and another man.

They drove to three banks but they were closed. Finally, at the Citizen's Bank in the 800 block of Walnut Street in Center City Philadelphia, Minnie wrote out the check for $4,000.

A surveillance photo shows how the man came into the bank and stood right behind Minnie as she cashed the check. She wanted to tell someone something was wrong, but she was afraid she might get in trouble.

"I felt that I was guilty too, because I helped out," she said.

After leaving the bank, the man and woman dropped Minnie off on Broad Street and handed her an envelope she thought contained her $4000, but it was filled with nothing more than scraps of paper.

"This is a horrible scenario," said Philadelphia Police Lieutenant John Walker. "Obviously you have a poor elderly female who has lived 95 years on this earth and these two idiots want to try to take her life savings."

Now Minnie's on the lookout for the suspects herself. She wants them to pay for the thousands they stole.

"I am gonna be lookin'! You hear me?" she said.

The suspects are described as about 45-50 years old and missing a lot of teeth. They were driving an older model black four-door vehicle.

Anyone with information is asked to Philadelphia Police's Southwest Detectives unit.

Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.