BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Dozens of people in Bryan are out thousands of dollars after falling victim to a unique kind of scam.
A woman Bryan police are referring to as a Bruja, otherwise known as witch or sorceress, started her business in April.
Investigators say visits with her clients started off simple. She would read tarot cards and perform other healing services. As she started to gain their trust, she then offered to “cleanse” their money, even claiming she could somehow double their cash.
One man, who asked not want to be identified, said he would visit the Bruja weekly for spiritual cleansings. He says one day she took a dollar and somehow turned into two dollars.
She told the man to gather more cash and she would double the amount, said the former customer. So he and several relatives collected more than $30,000 and gave it to her. The woman allegedly said she would pray over the money and bless it.
When it was time for him to pick his money up, the Bruja gave him the runaround, ultimately leading to unanswered calls and an empty building where she once performed those services off East William J Bryan Parkway.
"There's been more than ten of us,” said the man “She took way too much money and we want her to return the money or for her to be jailed because it's not fair what she's doing.”
A reporter for Brava, an online news source for the local Hispanic community has spoken with several people who were scammed.
Cintya Aguilar says some of those seeking out the Bruja wanted better health and its something she says can be common in the culture.
"They grow up with these things. Many of them are from little towns where there's not even a doctor. There's kind of a healer and this person is that one who takes care of the town,” said Aguilar.
The Bryan Police Department is investigating this case and is urging all of the Bruja’s customers to file a report, regardless of their legal status. They say their main focus is catching this criminal and bringing justice to those who fell victim to her scam.