Countless Albertans were nearly duped out of money by fraudsters over the past couple of months, according to the RCMP.
Police are warning the public that the scam artists are hoping to fool unsuspecting Good Samaritans by pawning off worthless jewelry.
Chris Frederick told Global News he was heading down Highway 2A over the weekend when someone flagged him down.
“The gentleman came running out waving and had this really extravagant story. He was out of gas with no credit cards and needed money, and the next thing I know, he’s pulling out handfuls of gold out of his pockets, trying to get me to buy it,” he recalled.
Frederick posted the episode on a community Facebook page and dozens said the same thing also happened to them in Airdrie and Crossfield. The con artists target unsuspecting people in grocery stores and gas stations.
Jena Storms said she was approached after pulling off the Crossfield overpass.
Calgarian James Dyck said it happened to him twice: once in the parking lot of a northeast Calgary shopping mall and the other instance was right outside his front door.
“They were in a luxury car and dressed very well,” he said. “It was just so off-putting.
“He said his kid needed to eat and they needed money for food so I gave them an apple and orange, but they were asking for hundreds of dollars,” Dyck said.
Cpl. Curtis Peters said they’ve already been receiving reports about the scam but the RCMP is hoping more victims come forward to share their stories.
“I’ve heard instances where they’ve been down on their hands and knees, crying and begging. It’s convincing and they have an elaborate backstory, and the more elaborate, they suck you in to make you believe, so there’s a fair amount of sophistication to it,” Peters said.