SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Scammers hawking fake gold jewelry and using sleight of hand have stolen more than $55,000 from unsuspecting buyers across the Bay Area.
Police released a photo of a suspect and issued a warning after documenting 20 incidents in 2019 targeting mostly Asian victims in the Taraval and Richmond districts of San Francisco.
The suspects offer to sell jewelry to the victims and then place fake gold jewelry on their necks, wrists or hands, according to San Francisco Police. Then, the suspects flee in an awaiting vehicle before the victims realize the gold jewelry they purchased was fake. They also discover the their own ‘real’ jewelry has been removed.
Police have issued an arrest warrant for 44-year-old Mamfred Oinescu, and is asking other victims to come forward.
The scam has been played throughout the Bay Area, according to police. Anyone who has purchased gold items on the street should have them tested.