There’s an old scheme that tugs on the heartstrings but comes with a warning to not get stung.
WGN Investigates found complaints on Facebook about a scam taking place in Chicago suburbs in which a stranded driver on the side of the road waves people in for help. The man says he’s well-to-do and offers gold jewelry to entice the target to part with their money. The gold is not real and plenty of people are finding out way too late.
Rafael Majarres said he got stung last year by a man claiming to be a millionaire from Dubai.
He said the man said he lost his wallet and needed cash. To ensure his good faith, the man offered jewelry and what he said was his grandfather’s Rolex watch worth thousands. The man said he’d be back to collect his items. Majarres gave him $2,500.
They exchanged phone numbers. But when Majarres checked, the Rolex and jewelry turned out to be fake and the man from Dubai was long gone.
Steve Bernas with the Better Business Bureau said it not easy to track down these people because they move from state to state. The BBB established Scam Tracker for people to check before giving money.
The Illinois State Police encourages people to call law enforcement when a group is claiming they are stranded. They said if they truly need help, the quickest and safest solution for a tow or fuel is the police.