PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Authorities say a "black money" scam led to an evacuation of a Rhode Island waterfront hotel.
Con men employing the scheme convince a victim that they've smuggled money into the country by dying it. They persuade their mark to put up cash to buy chemicals that will wash off the dye, and then the scammers flee.
Maj. David Lapatin says authorities have determined that chemicals set off the smoke alarm at the Hilton Garden Inn in Providence on Tuesday. In the room, investigators found a hazmat suit, a mask and money.
A Providence man told investigators that two men claimed they dyed money to get it past U.S. customs officials. He told police he thought he was giving them money for "very expensive chemicals" in exchange for a cut.
Police are searching for two male suspects.