LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM)– Two men are accused of posing as law enforcement agents and stealing $115,000 from a Lancaster County resident in a scam, according to officials.
Vikram Singh, 22, and a John Doe, later identified to be Devraj Devraj, both of New York, allegedly called a 78-year-old woman and told her that her social security number was used in narcotics dealing and money laundering, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The scammers posed as someone from the DEA’s Office in a phone call on Sept. 8 and would transfer the woman to a fake sergeant and then other fake officers, according to the criminal complaint by Strasburg Borough Police.
Police say in the first call, the woman was told that she had two options, she could either get an attorney but that could take years for the case to resolve, or she could privately pay the government and have the money picked up.
When the woman would go to the bank to get the money, the scammers would be on the phone monitoring the withdrawal and would tell employees that she was using the cash for a sick relative in Florida, the complaint states.
The withdrawals, police say, were for thousands of dollars, in one of them the woman took out $45,000. The woman told police she would put the money in a box and then a car would arrive for her to put it into. Police were told a description of the driver, later identified as Singh, as well.
Undercover law enforcement agents positioned themselves around the area of the woman’s home and were able to conduct a traffic stop on the car as well as a suspicious person, who was later identified as Devraj in the area who tried to run from an officer, the complaint states.
Police discovered that they were not legally in the United States through Vehicle and cell phone records and Singh allegedly admitted to being involved in the scam in an interview.
The duo faces felony charges of theft by deception, theft by extortion, and criminal use of a communication facility.
The pair are locked up in Lancaster County Prison with each of their bail denied. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 6.