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California: Scam warning

Drivers are being warned by the California Highway Patrol to look out for scammers who are posing as stranded motorists in need of cash. They reportedly offer to sell gold jewelry that’s worth much more than is being requested. The jewelry is only costume jewelry.

The California Highway Patrol is warning residents about a scam that involves what appear to be disabled drivers along the freeways or county roads.

According a CHP press release, motorists are flagged down and told the alleged stranded driver needs money for gas. In exchange for money, the subjects offer to sell jewelry such as necklaces, rings, bracelets or watches they are wearing at the time.

The jewelry is stamped 18K and is portrayed as being worth more than amount they are requesting. The subjects have used elaborate stories to explain why they need money. They’ve claimed that either their wallet was stolen or lost, or a family member was in the hospital and needed surgery.

The suspects have been reported to work as a group or family and generally have young children with them. The subjects dress professionally, speak with a thick accent and are believed to be from Romania.

They are driving various types of vehicles, generally SUV style. The vehicles have been reported as rentals.

The CHP are asking residents to be on the lookout for any type of suspicious activity of this nature. If contacted, please identify all subjects in the vehicle and photograph. If you are able to provide information, contact the CHP Central Division at 277-7250.

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