Man attempting to scam local congregants, say police, synagogue

| November 8, 2011

A con man is making the rounds in Lubbock congregations, police and members of a local synagogue say.

Congregation Shaareth Israel president Jonathan Marks said a man giving his name as Alan Farahat solicited money from the congregation during its Friday evening service.

“He asked if he could make an announcement before the service started, before the candles were lit,” Marks said of the man. Marks told him he could during the time the congregation typically welcomes visitors and allows them to introduce themselves.

Claiming to be a Syrian Jew, the man told the congregation his parents died in Syria while trying to bring his grandmother out of the country currently experiencing rebellion and government crackdowns.

The man said his parents were driving his grandmother to the Lebanese border of Syria when they hit an explosive device and were airlifted to an Israeli hospital. His parents died, but his 92-year-old grandmother was hanging on for life, he said.

He said he wanted to travel to Israel to see his grandmother, but was short $200 for the plane fare, and additional money needed for food during the multi-leg flight.

Marks said the man provided a high level of detail to congregation members and, following the service, to Marks. The man gave the specific time of death for each parent, quoted the exact cost of the bereavement airplane fare, said would have three layovers, said he was Syria-born but was brought to the United States at 6 months old and said he was visiting Lubbock because he was considering transferring to the hotel management program at Texas Tech.

Marks believes it was all a lie.

 

http://lubbockonline.com/crime-and-courts/2011-11-07/man-attempting-scam-local-congregants-say-police-synagogue#.TrmXaHKwU2E

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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