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  • Religion News: Con man targeting Orthodox Jews

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  • Week in Religion
    A con artist has been preying on Orthodox Jews in New York City. The “fake frum” or con man spins tales of woe and tricks his victims into giving him large sums of money, the Jewish Daily Forward reported.
    More than a dozen Orthodox Jews have come forward to report the fraudster to police in recent days. The con man often approaches his targets near rail stations as the Sabbath nears. Saying he’s stranded without funds to get home, he appears panicked and appeals to his victims for help to get home before sundown, after which traditional Jewish law forbids travel. He sometimes offers a bogus home address or even his real cell phone number, but later refuses to pay his debt.
    Amtrack police are searching for the con man after the Forward published a photo of him. An investigator for the Amtrack Police Department, George Gernon, told the Forward, “He’s a person I’m investigating.” Many of the incidents occurred in and around Penn Station.
    Reportedly in operation as early as 2009, the fraudster operates under the aliases of “Ethan Schwartz,” “Glenn Goldstein,” “Dave Cohen” and “Chaim Goldman,” among other names.
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    Orthodox Judaism: The most conservative of the three major branches of Judaism, it strictly adheres to traditional teachings and acceptance of Jewish principles of faith and law. Capitalize in all references. Hasidism is a movement within Orthodox Judaism.
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