By COLlive reporter
A con artist who has been targeting Orthodox Jews for years is still at work, tricking kind-hearted unsuspecting people into giving him substantial sums of money.
Last year, more than a dozen Orthodox Jews came forward to complain they were scammed by a ‘fake frum’ con artist in New York City who tricked them into giving him substantial sums of money with tales of bad fortune, the Forward reported.
The fraudster, who often approaches his targets near rail stations just before Shabbos, proffers panicked appeals to help a stranded fellow Jew who must get home before sundown, after which traditional Jewish law forbids travel.
He may offer a bogus home address or even an actual cell phone number, the Forward reports, but he refuses to repay his debts as promised.
On Wednesday, Meir, a Lubavitch bochur, said that he was the fraudster’s latest victim, having handed over $100 to him after the man claimed “his car was towed and he didn’t have any money because his wife had his credit card.”
“He gave me a number and told me his name is David Cohen,” Meir told COLlive.com. “When I got home someone showed me the articles about him and I recognized him right away.”
Police have been investigating the man for years, it has been reported. Dozens of victims have come forward, complaining about the man who identified himself with different names including “Ethan Schwartz,” “Glenn Goldstein,” “Dave Cohen” and “Chaim Goldman,” among other names.
He speaks the Orthodox lingo well, quoting Torah verses on the fly, thereby invoking the victims’ sense of loyalty to a kindred Jew, the Forward reported.
Meir is concerned about the many thousands of guests who are travelling to New York this weekend for the Kinus Hashluchos. “I want them to beware of this con man and not get taken in as well,” he said.