3 Arrested in Rancho Cucamonga in Connection to Instagram Stock Investment Scam
Three people were arrested in Rancho Cucamonga in connection to an Instagram stock investment scam, the Rancho Cucamonga Police Department said Thursday in a news release.
Zoe Ramirez, 19, Ricardo Nicholas Ramkissoon, 23, and Rahim James Parker, 22, all from Rancho Cucamonga, were taken into custody at a home in the 11000 block of 5th Street, police said.
Ramirez used an Instagram account under the handle “Quueeeeeennn” to message a victim saying that she and her mother-in-law “Talishah” would invest $500 of the victim’s money in stocks and promised a large return of more than $1,000, according to the news release.
The victim agreed and gave money to Ramirez. She then told him to speak about his investments directly with “Talishah” through text messages.
Police said they later found out that the number used actually belonged to Ramkissoon, who lived with Ramirez.
Over the next two weeks, the victim “exchanged large amounts of money with Ramirez, believing he was investing in stocks,” police said.
The victim then asked so-called Talishah to sell his stock so he can get his money. The suspects gave the victim a date and told him his money would be available on that day, authorities said.
For the next two weeks after that, every time the victim tried to collect the money, he was told the stock was continuing to grow and that he had to pay “large fees” for the release, according to police.
“The victim never received any earnings and has lost over $4,000 in property and funds given to Ramirez with the belief the victim’s money was invested in real stock,” police said.
While serving a search warrant at the suspects’ home, detectives recovered property belonging to the victim, a large amount of U.S. currency, other items corroborating the victim’s claims, as well as additional evidence identifying more victims, according to the news release.
All three suspects were booked into a Rancho Cucamonga jail on charges including conspiracy to commit a crime, the grand theft of money or property worth more than $950, receiving known stolen property and false pretenses obtaining money/etc., police said.
Parker’s role in the scheme is unclear.
Detectives are asking for the public’s help identifying anyone else who may have been a victim.
Anyone with information was urged to contact the Rancho Cucamonga Police Detective Division at 909-477-2800. To remain anonymous, call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-27463.