Victim Duped by Phone Scammer, Suspect Identified from Television Appearance

| March 17, 2023

FOREST CO., Pa. (EYT) – A Forest County man who was duped out of over $8,000.00 by a phone scammer posing as his relative, identified the swindler after spotting him on a television broadcast.

(Photo credit: Yan Krukau / Pexels)

Court documents indicate that State Police in Marienville filed criminal charges against 24-year-old Wilson Burgos-Hernandez, of Phillipsburg, on March 14, in Magisterial District Judge Daniel L. Miller’s office.

According to a criminal complaint, on November 18, 2021, a known victim, of Tionesta, Forest County, received a total of 13 phone calls throughout the day regarding a relative. The victim stated that the phone numbers used were all from out of state, and a total of four different numbers were used.

According to the complaint, the victim stated the first phone call was from someone who he believed to be his relative. The individual (posing as his relative) stated he was involved in a vehicle crash, and that he was at fault. He told the victim that he caused injury to a pregnant lady, and he was taken into custody by police and needed money for his bail.

The man told the victim the bail amount was $8,420.00.

The victim then spoke to someone who was claiming to be his relative’s attorney. The victim said that throughout the conversations, he was advised that someone would be coming to his residence to collect the money. The victim said that at approximately 4:30 p.m., a man came in a “sky blue car.” The victim said that he gave the man an envelope containing $8,420.00 in cash. He said the man took the envelope and drove away, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, Wilson Burgos-Hernandez was later arrested for a similar crime in Bethel Park, Pa. During this incident similar details were used to obtain money from another victim.

During a news broadcast from the incident, the victim identified Burgos-Hernandez as the same individual he gave $8,420.00 to on November 18, 2021, and the car he was driving was the same car in which Burgos-Hernandez arrived at his residence, the complaint notes.

A photo lineup was created with eight total individuals of similar attributes. During the sequential photo lineup, the victim identified the accused, Wilson Burgos-Hernandez, the complaint states.

According to court records, the following charges have been filed against Burgo-Hernandez

  • Theft by Deception – False Imprisonment, Felony 3
  • Conspiracy – Theft by Deception – False Imprisonment, Felony 3

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 11, at 9:30 a.m. with Judge Miller presiding.

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Category: Local News, News, Police & Fire Calls

Gavin Fish is a reporter for EYT Media Group and YouTuber based in Venango County. In addition to his YouTube Channel, he has contributed to investigations and reports for ABC News, Investigation Discovery, and Fox Nation, and has collaborated on projects developed for Netflix, Oxygen, Discovery Channel, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
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