HONOLULU (KHON2) — Recent crimes are prompting officers to remind the public to be aware of scammers selling counterfeit jewelry.

According to Big Island police, they have initiated multiple theft investigations and have seen an increase in these types of scams.

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For instance, a 62-year-old Kailua-Kona resident reported to police that he was allegedly sold 18-carat gold jewelry that he later discovered was fake.

Both Big Island and Kauai’s police departments are warning that the suspects tend to approach people in public places and attempt to sell rare or antique jewelry.

The suspects tell victims that they are visitors and are selling jewelry because they are in need of money for reasons such as purchasing plane tickets to get back to their home country or because they lost their wallets.

“We recommend having all jewelry inspected by a reputable professional jeweler before making any purchases,” said Kauai’s Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce of the Investigative Services Bureau. “And if you suspect any suspicious activity, do not hesitate to walk away and call police.”

To report these types of jewelry scams on Kauai call police dispatch at 808-241-1711.

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Those on Big Island can report jewelry scams to the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311.