Police in suburban Aurora are investigating a spiritual healing scam that defrauded three people out of almost $8,000 since early July.
A woman who went by the name of Esperanza claimed to be a spiritual healer, police said, and distributed flyers advertising spiritual advice from an apartment in the 700 block of High Street.
The victims -- a 45-year-old man from Amboy, a 32-year-old woman from Aurora and a 43-year-old woman from Montgomery -- told police the suspect promised to improve their financial fortunes if they gave her thousands of dollars in cash that she would “pray” over.
She told each of them to then return to the apartment at a future date to retrieve their money.
When they went back to the apartment, the victims told police no one answered the door or answered the phone.
Police said it appears the suspect has since left the area. Esperanza is described as a female Hispanic in her late 30s, standing 5-foot-3 and heavyset, with dark hair.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Aurora Police investigators at 630-256-5500 or Aurora Area Crime Stoppers at 630-892-1000.
Callers to Crime Stoppers remain anonymous and qualify for a cash reward of up to $5000 for information that leads to arrests.