Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-04-17 02:54:16 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---In a joint press conference o Friday with Louisville Metro Police and the U.S. Secret Service, authorities spoke about fake money, discovered on Thanksgiving when officers responded to what was believed to be a burglary in progress at a home in Southwest Jefferson County.
"They found something that was entirely foreign to them," says Chief Steve Conrad with Louisville Metro Police.
They say they discovered items used for the "Black Money" scam.
"In this situation we came across something that was unique. A scam in our community we haven't seen before," says Chief Conrad.
It's a get-rich quick scam that you can find in a quick search online.
People claim they have African Federal Reserve Notes that were produced by the Treasury Department during WWII, later abandoned after the war and dyed black.
They claim they need help paying for the expensive chemicals to clean the money.
They even use real money at first to fool the victims to get involved.
"They cover it in black ink. Kinda a black iodine. They come up with a rouse, a substance that they will show a victim- 'hey, we can actually clean this imported money and turn it into real money'," says U.S. Secret Service Special Agent, Paul Johnson.
After the victims are reeled in and pay up, they soon realize it's all an act.
The money police receive is just construction and blank stock paper.
Paul Johnson, a Secret Service special agent, says since officers discovered real money inside the home, he believes people locally fell victim to the act.
"Right now we're sitting on $50,000 in genuine currency that belongs to a real victim, and we think it could be more, it could be less, there could be multiple victims," says Paul Johnson.
While this scam isn't new across the world, authorities say it is a first in Louisville, and even in Kentucky.
They say there are two people of Liberian decent, and one Cuban man, who they consider suspects, but they now need help from victims.
Authorities say this local case could turn into a much bigger case, involving outside states.
If you are a victim of this scam, call the police tip line at 574-LMPD.