BELLEVUE, Wash. — If you are quick to lend a helping hand to someone in need, you might want to think twice.
Police are seeing a retuning scam in Bellevue that preys on good Samaritans, and it’s similar to one that’s been happening for years.
It begins with a driver being flagged down by someone who claims to be out of gas or is in some other dilemma, according to Bellevue Police.
The suspect offers jewelry in exchange for the victim going to an ATM and withdrawing a large amount of cash.
The scammer exchanges phone numbers with the victim and promises they’ll pay back the money as soon as they get to their destination.
The payback never comes and the “valuable” jewelry turns out to be worthless.
“In the moment, I thought oh my goodness. If he’s giving me this stuff and it’s real, how bad would I be if I didn’t help,” said victim Patrick Lyn.
This isn’t the first time we’ve reported on this kind of scam.
In the past, we’ve talked to victims of a fake jewelry scam that’s been reported from California to Canada since 2018.
Typically, a well-dressed family with small children in an expensive rental car will desperately flag down people along freeways, saying their money and credit cards were stolen and now they’re stranded and need help.
They then offer what appears to be genuine gold jewelry in exchange for cash.
Just like in the Bellevue scams, the jewelry turns out to be fake.
In March, Washington State Patrol investigators said they received reports of the same scam.
“If you are confronted by someone you don’t know, who says hey here’s some jewelry I just need your help- it’s obviously a scam,” said Bellevue Officer Seth Tyler.
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