Ontario police warn of scam artists pretending to be stranded motorists
Ontario Provincial Police are warning drivers not to fall for a scam where fraudsters pose as stranded motorists and attempt to prey on the goodwill of others by asking to exchange fake gold jewlery for cash.
In a news release issued Wednesday, the force said they've received numerous complaints from motorists who've stopped to assist drivers that appear to be stranded along the side of 400 series highways.
Scammers will often park on the shoulder of one of these highways, on a ramp or in parking lots, "seeking the goodwill and compassion from the motoring public."
Once a concerned Good Samaritan stops to offer help, the scammer then fabricates some kind of emergency scenario and claims to have had their wallet stolen.
They often say they're from out of town and in need of funds for gas or vehicle repairs, and they then offer to hand over gold jewelry in exchange for the money they claim to so desperately need.
"These individuals are typically well dressed and well-spoken and are operating rental vehicles," the release notes.
The jewlery these scammers offer in exchange for money, shockingly enough, is not real gold.
The OPP says there have been several instances where well-meaning motorists have handed over significant funds, only to later discover that the jewelery is fake.
And some people, according to the OPP, don't want to admit they fell for the scam and are too embarrassed to even come forward.
To avoid falling prey to one of these scams, the OPP is urging motorists not to stop on the side of the road to engage with these individuals.
"The scammers pose safety concerns by parking their vehicles on the sides of busy highways and ramps," notes the provincial police force.
"If you do encounter these scammers, offer to contact roadside assistance rather than exchange funds for jewelry, then leave the location."
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