Man Scams Hurst Woman Battling Cancer
Update 2:45 p.m. HURST (CBSDFW.COM) – The man accused of scamming a woman battling breast cancer, has turned himself into police.
After Barbara Humphries’ story ran on CBS 11 News this morning, police say the man called Hurst Police and agreed to come in for questioning.
HURST (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in Hurst need the public’s help finding a man who took advantage of a woman who was raising money to pay for cancer treatments.
Doctors diagnosed Barbara Humphries with invasive breast cancer last month, on her 31st birthday. She is in her second week of what will be four months of chemotherapy before she can have a double mastectomy. “My medical bills have been very rough. I have to pay 30 percent for every treatment I have,” said the mother of two.
While Humphries has insurance, the expenses are building rapidly. She has turned to selling some personal possessions online to pay for her medical bills. Her friends have also set up a website to help raise money. “I’ve pawned my wedding rings. I’ve just sold everything,” Humphries said.
She put a $300 Coach watch on Craigslist and received a phone call on Sunday from a man who called himself ‘Nick.’ “He said he wanted to purchase it for his girlfriend as a present,” said Humphries. She agreed to sell the man the watch for $100 cash. They met in the parking lot outside of a mall.
Humphries shared her story of battling breast cancer. “He said his grandfather just died of cancer, and I told him about my treatments. He sympathized and acted like he was upset. He asked me if I had anything else for sale,” she said.
Humphries said that the man gave her two $50 bills and she gave him the watch. She put the money in her pocket and walked back to her car. But when she looked at the bills, she almost instantly realized that the money was fake. “It was horrible. Terrible. I feel like he’s the worst kind of criminal, because he knew what I was going through. It’s rough,” she said.
The phone number that the man gave her is now answered by a different person.
The Hurst Police Department is investigating the case and calling on the Secret Service, which handles counterfeit currency cases. They are reviewing surveillance video from the mall parking lot.
Assistant Chief Richard Winstanley said that he feels like Humphries was victimized twice. “She was victimized by the scam, and she’s also got a serious medical issue,” Winstanley said. “It’s like, how much more could an individual sustain?”
The officer who took Humphries report also took up a collection for her around the department. He called her on Tuesday morning with a bit of good news. He did not have her watch, but he did have a donation of $152 for her treatments. “He told me he wanted me to come back to the police station, that he had a real hundred dollar bill for me,” Humphries said.
“I’m really thankful. They’ve been awesome,” Humphries said of police.
Authorities said that the counterfeit money suspect is a white male, approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall, 140 pounds with distinctive tattoos, including star tattoos all over his right arm, a blue diamond on the underside of his left forearm, and a Hello Kitty tattoo with a profane statement.
Anyone with information about this individual or this case is urged to contact the Hurst Police Department.
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