Con Artists Resurface In Square, Police Say

Two professional con artists have resurfaced in Harvard Square recently, prompting University police to issue a warning to students.

Police said the con artists, one man and one woman, tell their victims they have found a check for $4,500 on the street. They ask the victim to deposit the check in her bank account, and to split the cash with them if it clears.

The suspects then ask for a $500 payment in cash as a sign of goodwill that the victim will not keep all the money for herself. The con artists then pressure students to withdraw the $500 from a bank machine and give it to them.

Harvard police urged students approached by the suspects not to hand over money or credit cards.

Lt. John F. Rooney said the two suspects, who approached at least six Asian females last fall, again approached potential targets on March 30 and 31.


The two incidents were reported to Cambridge police, but the suspects have not been arrested, Rooney said.

The suspects are using the same modus operandi as in the fall, Rooney said, and Asians remain their "preferred targets."

Witnesses described the woman as Black, five foot, six inches tall and about 40-years-old, with short hair. She has been seen wearing a black leather jacket and sunglasses. The man, who is also Black and about six feet tall with a thin mustache, has been seen wearing a suit and driving a maroon, four-door sedan.

The two suspects were first reported by Cambridge residents last summer, after approaching several persons in Somerville and Cambridge.

The March 30 incident took place at 1575 Mass. Ave. The other occurred at the corner of Mass. Avenue and Garden Street, Rooney said.

Rooney said further description of the suspects, their car or license plate number would be welcomed by the Harvard police.

Else G. Kaunfer contributed to the reporting of this story.