August 13, 2022

A Massachusetts woman who authorities say was preyed upon by a scammer claiming to be “Fast & Furious” actor Vin Diesel had stolen COVID relief funds deposited into her bank account.

The details of what happened are contained in a federal case where the government is seeking to seize a Bank of America check for $16,893.86.

In an affidavit detailing the government’s reasons for seizing the money, Derek MacDonald, a special agent for the United States Secret Service, said authorities believe the money was part of a COVID relief fraud scam.

On July 12, a woman and her daughter went to the Barnstable Police Department to report a scam. The mother explained her daughter is mentally disabled and discovered that PPP loan funds had been deposited into her Bank of America account.

The daughter however never applied for the loan.

The funds, which equaled $16,893.86, were placed in a check. The mother and daughter brought the check to the police station and handed it over to investigators.

MacDonald and Barnstable Police Detective Steven Barrette, who is part of the USSS New England Cyber Fraud Task Force, interviewed the mother and daughter in mid-July.

The daughter told investigators “that she was communicating with an individual she met online who she believed was the actor, Vin Diesel,” records said.

The scammer and the woman spoke via Google Hangouts and through email.

Eventually, the scammer had the woman provide her banking information and a picture of her…

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