No Vacation from Scams

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It all happened last Thursday around 11:30 a.m. That's when Rattana Cope says she was scammed in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

After walking into the store, Rattana says she was approached by a woman who told her (Rattana) that she had dropped something outside at her car. Rattana says the woman then escorted her back outside toward her car. Along the way she says she was approached by another woman in her mid-50s who had a bag in her hand. Rattana says the woman says she picked the bag up off the ground, inside the bag was filled with money.

"One said, she's a Christian, 'oh, thank God for this money! This money will do good things for God,' and all that," says Rattana.

That's when Rattana says the woman with the bag told her to read the note inside it. On the note she says it stated that finding the money was a good thing and that it should be split three ways. Rattana says she insisted that the woman with the bag turn it in to police, and that's when Rattana says the two women threatened her and told her that she better do what they say.

At that point Rattana says the two women made her get in her own car and drive them to a nearby store where they robbed her of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry. After that she says they forced her to drive to her bank and withdraw $1,000 from her savings account.

Rattana says the suspects were both well dressed black females. She says one was in her late 20s and the other in her mid-50s.

"They made her believe that they would hurt her or her family and so she did what she was told to do," says Rattana’s co-worker, Jackie Holloway.

Since the incident, Rattana's co-workers have been assisting her in seeking justice.

Meanwhile, Rattana says the ordeal finally ended when she drove the two back to a store where they requested her to go and both then got out of her vehicle.

In the wake of this incident, local authorities are once again warning the public to be aware of possible scam artists.

"If someone comes up trying to sell something or show something they've found, say 'No thank you,' offer to call the police to help them. See what that guy's reaction is after you say that, usually you can tell then," says Lt. Dean Harper with the Meridian Police Department.


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