Authorities are warning the public of a recent scam involving the selling of counterfeit jewelry.
The Kaua‘i Police Department sent out a news release Tuesday, Aug. 2, stating they have received reports of individuals approaching numerous people across the island, often in public places and are going to residences attempting to sell rare or antique jewelry.
Authorities from both KPD and the Hawai‘i Police Department on the Big Island said the scammers are telling people they are visitors and they are in need of money for reasons such as they lost their wallet or their IDs were stolen.
KPD was not able to provide the amount of complaints to date regarding the scam, nor how long the department estimates it has been going on, any reports of violent behavior, or if any of the scammers have been apprehended.
The department is urging the public to exercise extreme caution if someone approaches you and attempts to sell you jewelry. If possible, take note of individual characteristics of the person selling the counterfeit jewelry along with their behavior patterns and vehicles, as it may assist officers in identifying and apprehending suspects.
“With the increase in reports of this particular scam, we are warning the public to be vigilant,” said Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce of the Investigative Services Bureau. “Please do not buy any jewelry from someone who approaches you in this manner – male or female. We recommend having all jewelry inspected by a reputable professional jeweler before making any purchases. And if you suspect any suspicious activity, do not hesitate to walk away and call police.”
Additionally, Kaua‘i police are reminding the public that scams are presented using many different tactics, and offers the following prevention tips:
- Do not answer or return calls from unknown numbers.
- Be wary of suspicious payment methods.
- Use caution when responding to unsolicited calls or e-mails, or unknown individuals on social networking sites.
- Check your bank, credit card and phone statements regularly. If you see an unknown or unauthorized charge, immediately notify your bank or service provider.
- Senior citizens are popular targets for scam artists as they tend to be more trusting of unknown individuals. Responsible family members should help to keep them safe.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
If you or someone you know has fallen victim to this jewelry scam or suspect suspicious activity, please contact Kaua‘i police dispatch at 808-241-1711, or visit Crime Stoppers Kaua‘i, Inc. by clicking here.