HONOLULU (KHON2) — There are new concerns that an old scam has returned, people selling fake items like jewelry on the street again.
People have confirmed that they have been solicited within the last week to buy jewelry, but they each ignored the seller and did not buy. Police say people should always be wary if someone comes up wanting to sell something.
Sgt. Chris Kim with Crimestoppers said scammers will do anything to get you to buy something, even tell a fake story.
“Especially with the holiday seasons coming up, there are going to be a lot of people out there tugging at people’s heartstrings,” said Kim. They’re going to give stories that are very believable. They’re going to say that, they’re in debt or they’re in trouble or they just need money, and they need help and just out of desperation. That’s the reason why they’re getting rid of all their items.”
They may be able to successfully sell those fake items to people who may not be aware of what’s going on.
“As a general guideline, as a rule of thumb, we encourage the public to not purchase jewelry or high end items off the street. You know, go to a reputable dealer or a store, and purchase those high end items from there,” said Kim.
Kim said people should never consider buying anything off the street, but if they do, people should always ask questions, such as if the item is real. He said people should also inspect the item thoroughly before buying and ask for previous proof of transactions.
For jewelry, he said don’t be afraid to ask if the seller would be willing to take the piece to a pawn shop or dealer to confirm its authenticity.
“In the event that they find out later on that what they purchased wasn’t real, even though they’re embarrassed, [they] may want to call police and just document the incident, and at least we can start keeping track of these type of things going on,” said Kim.
Kim said once you report this to the police, it will most likely be classified as a theft case, carrying fines up to thousands of dollars, depending on how much the person may have spent on the fake items.