5 arrested in Yucaipa fake child-funeral scam – San Bernardino Sun

Five San Bernardino residents were arrested in Yucaipa in what authorities say is a common scam in which well-meaning donors are fleeced by people falsely claiming they are raising money for a child’s medical expenses or funeral.

The latest arrests happened at about 5 p.m. on April 1 at the intersection of Yucaipa Boulevard and Yucaipa Valley Circle, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.

A deputy saw them holding signs requesting donations for a child’s funeral as well as plastic water jugs to hold the cash. Some motorists stopped to hand them money, a news release said.

One of the solicitors lied to the deputy about the child being killed in a traffic collision in San Bernardino, the release said.

“At the end of the investigation, it was determined it was a scam and the suspects were collecting money for their own personal benefit. The suspects had collected over $950 in donations,” the release said.

Four 20-year-olds, a 24-year-old and a 30-year old were arrested on suspicion of theft by false pretense and conspiracy.

The fraudsters often carry signs that include photos of children that were printed from the internet. Their stories usually fall apart upon questioning.

In December, Riverside police seized $400 from people who were soliciting money for a girl suffering from “akute leukemy,” according to their signs.

In June 2019, San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies discovered that “Baby Jacob” did not exist and arrested five people on suspicion of panhandling and conspiracy at a Grand Terrace intersection.

The FBI warns people to be on the lookout for all manner of scams, many of which are listed on its website.

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