TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Tyler Police Department is warning residents about a scam taking place in East Texas.
Police say they were contacted by two victims who saw an advertisement for a “spiritual healer” targeting the Hispanic community.
Each victim contacted a phone number in the advertisement and was told by the scammer to go to 500 North Barron Street to meet with the “healer.”
The “healer” charged $500 and $200 for each victim to start the “spiritual healing process” because they were possessed with an “evil spirit” and “their family was in danger.”
The Hispanic female suspect, who’s reportedly in her late 50s to 60s. told the victims to return with very large sums of cash so she could continue “the healing process.”
She convinced them she was not keeping their money, but only praying over it. Police say she then placed the cash in a bandana in front of them and then had the victim close their eyes to pray over it. She then instructed them not open the bandana until the following day. When the victim did so, they realized that the cash and been switched with cut paper.
Upon further investigation by investigators it was determined that the suspect was using a rental house for a front at the time of the incident. It is believed that the suspect may be traveling from city to city running the scam. Out of state license plates were also seen by victims on vehicles parked in the driveway.
Anyone with information about the suspects involved in this crime are urged to contact the Tyler Police Department, at 903-531-1000, or Crimestoppers at 903-597-CUFF (903-597-2833). Crimestoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and charges filed against the suspects in this case or any felony case.