Langley RCMP has charged a 34-year-old Surrey woman who police say spun her tale of woe right into the bank accounts of several local victims.
The alleged offences took place throughout October and November, when the woman is accused of approaching unsuspecting, kind-hearted individuals and telling them a story about having recently moved to the area, losing her identification and needing to cash a personal cheque, said Langley RCMP Cpl. Holly Largy.
She asks her ‘target’ to cash a cheque at their bank so she isn’t charged a fee at a ‘cheque cashing store.’
Instead, she gives the fee to the ‘target.’
Various method are used to extract the cash from the targeted individual, including ATM withdrawals, purchase of gift cards and debit purchases, where additional cash back is requested.
One victim lost nearly $1,000 after finding out the cheque was drawn on an account that was closed three years ago.
“The truly sad thing is, this has happened more than once. We would all love to be part of a ‘pay it forward’ moment where we help someone out who then does a good turn for another person,” said Largy.
“Regrettably, not everyone is deserving of our benevolent actions.”
Sherri Jean Lee Clarke has been charged with two counts of identity theft, use of a forged document, possession of a fraudulent credit card, nine counts of possession of stolen property, possession of stolen identity documents, and fraud. Clarke was allegedly in possession of stolen cheques worth over $11,000.
She will next appear in Surrey Provincial Court on Dec. 8.
In 2014, Clarke was sentenced to 12 months probation for theft under $5,000 in Langley.