How The Scheme Works
Generally the scheme works as follows: A pair of people approach a senior. They may even engage the senior in a friendly conversation. The pair will get close to the senior. One of the pair may have a piece of cheap jewelry, such as a bracelet or a necklace, and they might tell the senior that they want the senior to have that piece of cheap jewelry. While the senior is distracted, one of the pair will take off the real and expensive jewelry that the senior is wearing. The thieves may attempt to swap out a piece of fake jewelry for a piece of real jewelry. Before the senior knows it, their real jewelry is gone. In some cases, the thieves have forcibly ripped jewelry off their victims.
How to Protect Yourself
Be vigilant when you leave the house and pay attention to those around you. The scammers have targeted older adults of Asian descent in particular, so members of this community should be especially wary. If someone approaches you, make sure your jewelry is secure, especially expensive looking jewelry.
What to do if You Are A Victim
If you have been a victim of this type of theft, report the theft to the police. Law enforcement agencies in multiple areas of California are investigating these crimes. You can help the investigation by reporting additional incidents to law enforcement.