If you come across this man in a black Cadillac Escalade in the Los Gatos area, drive away and call police. He’s a scam artist.
Santa Clara County, home to the smartest startups and tech firm giants, doesn’t mean scammers won’t try to swindle you out of your money with their low-tech techniques. Far from it, smart techies and analytical types might be the easiest targets.
This information comes from the Facebook group “Bay Area, Events, Meets & Cruises.” A heavy-set Middle Eastern man allegedly has a fire sale on real gold to replace money after he “lost his wallet.”
According to a potential victim who encountered this man on the 85 North on-ramp to 17 towards Santa Cruz in Los Gatos, he approached his truck after his Black Cadillac Escalade almost rear-ended him in reverse. The man offered to sell, at a discount, thousands of dollars of real gold for whatever the man in the truck had on him.
This man probably paired his lost wallet story with how he’s fallen on tough times, needs money as soon as possible, and, you’d be doing him a solid if you can help him out. He might even say you’d make more money than what you have him when you flip the gold at a pawnshop.
It goes without saying but the gold is fake and you’re left with piles of near-worthless metal.
Bay Area resident Jeff Huang said,
“I think this was the same guy who asked me to buy his gold ring and necklace to feed his kid. He pulled up in a minivan though and this was at the Shell Gas station off of Great America Parkway in Santa Clara.“
Another commenter in the above post said this is a trick as old as time, a variant on this old scam still popular in Germany. In their German version some helpless victim will come asking for gas money, offering real gold and jewelry at a deep discount.
And earlier last year, Fremont police warned residents on yet another twist to the fake gold scam. Some unscrupulous people might approach you and offer to give you free gold jewelry. While they’re putting the fake stuff on you, they’re stealing whatever jewelry you have on.
Before you drive, secure all your valuables and belongings from arm’s reach, stowing what you have in your center consol, glove box, or on the floor behind you. That way scammers and thieves can’t reach in to grab things.
And by chance you come across anyone selling gold or jewelry out of their car with a sob story attached, just leave and call police.