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International scam targets Utah Muslims

Associated Press, USA
Feb. 23, 2004 • Tuesday February 24, 2004

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Several Utah residents have been targeted by what has been deemed an international scam aimed at Muslims, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said.

A man called the Iqra Academy of Utah claiming he was a doctor from Saudi Arabia in charge of an Islamic bank. The man said he was traveling to different communities to providing donations to Muslim charities, schools and mosques, according to the school’s principal, Adnan Abed.

The caller asked the school to prepare a proposal for such a donation, Abed said.

The man called back the next day, claiming his wife had accidentally put their plane tickets and all their money into luggage that was already shipped to Salt Lake City.

He said they were stranded in Toronto and needed $2,000 wired to them so they could buy plane tickets, Abed said. The man promised to repay the school as soon as he got to Utah.

Abed said he was about to wire the man money until he talked to a friend who made some phone calls and found out it was a scam.

Abed said he discovered others in Salt Lake’s Muslim community also have been contacted by a man with the same story.

The Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations said it was positive it was the same scam artist and have issued a warning about the scam.

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