Fake jewelry swindlers are luring in more and more victims. Here’s how to spot a scam

Honolulu police confirm at least a dozen people have been ripped off on Oahu alone.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 5:22 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 4, 2022 at 11:31 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Law enforcement authorities across the state are warning the public about a new scam: People peddling fake gold.

Honolulu police confirm at least a dozen people have been ripped off on Oahu alone.

HPD says the swindlers typically work in pairs, targeting seniors and people whose first language isn’t English.

Achique Coyaso said he was driving home from church late Sunday morning when he came upon what looked like a roadside emergency.

“The desperation that I saw in his face. He was waving his arms,” he said.

Coyaso said two men were parked on the shoulder of the road in a blind curve off the H-1 Freeway Aiea exit.

Coyaso couldn’t tell what had happened but the combat veteran knew he needed to help.

He says it wasn’t long before he realized the people who flagged him down were up to no good. So he pulled out his cell phone and started recording.

In the video, you can hear Coyaso ask the passenger in the car: “You don’t need my money now? Are you guys trying to hustle me. You guys told me you were out of gas.”

The two men are seen covering their faces and speeding away.

Coyaso says that’s not all one of the men told him as he appeared to be stranded on the side of the road.

“He said our wallets got stolen yesterday and we got no money,” said Coyaso.

“As he was speaking he slipped off what appeared to be a golden ring and slipped it into my passenger window and was offering it to me and asked if he could get $200 in exchange.”

Coyaso says he offered to fill their gas tank instead. But when they pulled up at the pump something seemed off.

He said, “That’s what made me reach into my pocket, grab my phone and start documenting.”

Law enforcement says swindlers are doing variations of this scam across Hawaii.

On Kauai, four men are facing felony charges after they were busted Wednesday and accused of selling counterfeit jewelry.

And on Oahu, HPD confirms it’s currently investigating about a dozen cases.

“My dad got a (fake) Rolex watch, two gold rings, two gold bracelets, and a chain necklace,” said an Oahu man named Albert.

He told HNN his father was cheated out of $2,000 after a woman approached him on July 28 in the parking lot of Waipahu Festival Marketplace telling him she needed money for plane tickets to get back to her country.

“Oh yes, he was very upset,” he said. “I was upset myself, too. Cause who would do things like that?”

Police say if you’re approached by anyone selling jewelry on the street walk away and to only buy gold from reputable dealers.

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