Fake jewelry scam victim recalls convincing story from 'European gypsies'
Fake jewelry scam victim describes con-artists story as convincing before he handed them cash. Honolulu CrimeStoppers says they've received more than 50 calls to their hotlines and app.
Social media labels them as 'European gypsies.' They've been seen cruising O'ahu's streets with fake jewelry, and a convincing story, looking for anyone who'll buy into it.
Donald Chun said, on Monday in a Wahiawa shopping center parking lot, he was one of those people who was pulled in by their pitch.
"It was a red mustang convertible, and the top was up, and there was another person, but I don't know if that was a woman or a guy." Chun said. "He told me he lost his wallet, and he needed some gas money. So I pulled out a five and I gave it to him. He was gonna give me some gold chain, I said I didn't want it."
Chun said the scammers didn't make out with much, but according to 'Stolen Stuff Hawaii' -- a Facebook community watch group, others have been less fortunate -- getting duped-out of Hundreds of dollars.
"It's sad that people are doing these things. I don't know what to say about that.">
On a video posted to Facebook, one scammer tries to bargain with a potential buyer into paying hundreds of dollars for jewelry so he can afford a plane ticket.
Honolulu CrimeStoppers Sergeant, Chris Kim said as word of the scam gets out, more people are calling in to their phone lines.
"We did receive over 50 calls between yesterday into today via our hotline as well as our app." Said Kim.
He suspects scammers know law enforcement is onto them.
"We're getting calls from airlines' -- They're calling crime stoppers saying that they have a group of these people. They're describing them as Middle Eastern descent or Romanian descent, saying that they're trying to buy large quantities of tickets to try and fly out of O'ahu, and they're trying to pay in cash." Said Kim.
For the victims who have been gypped-out of their money, Kim encourages filing a police report.
"Essentially it's gonna come down to prosecution. The money's already gone but if they wanna prosecute and go to court, and if they're willing to work with investigators, and if they're able to identify the suspects who sold them this, then it could lead to an arrest.