Ricochet News

Walmer police save elderly man targeted in R680 000 fake emeralds scam

Oct 12, 2017
Walmer police save elderly man targeted in R680 000 fake emeralds scam

Port Elizabeth police have again warned residents to be wary of sophisticated scammers operating in the city after Walmer detectives saved an elderly man from purchasing nearly R700 000 worth of fake emeralds.

According to police spokesperson, WO Alwin Labans, the inicident happened on Wednesday, at about 11:00, when Walmer police received information from the security of a major shopping complex about a person, who might be falling victim to a fraudulent scam as the security guard noticed the victim leaving with a suspicious man.

"It is alleged that these suspects con people into parting with their money in exchange for precious stones like diamonds and emeralds," he said.

"The victim, an elderly male, was seen leaving the centre with the suspect. The vehicle’s registration number was given to the police and immediately the detectives and uniform members were searching the Walmer area for the vehicle."

WO Labans said that the victim was traced via an old case number and he was immediately contacted on his cell phone.

"Police warned him that he was about to be conned.

"A police officer pretending to be his daughter managed to get his location from him," he added.

"With the assistance of the K9 Unit and Flying Squad, the detectives succeeded in preventing a crime from being committed.  The victim indicated that he was about to purchase emeralds to the value of R680 000."

WO Labans said that these con artists operate in such a way that after getting the money, they hand the naïve victim pieces of glass passing off as diamonds and emeralds.

"The quick reaction and investigation of Walmer detectives and members resulted in saving a vulnerable man from being scammed out of thousands of rands," he said.

"Police are warning people not to fall prey to such deals and to be very careful when responding to advertisements via the internet.

"The documents appear to be very legitimate and the conmen even hand over documentation for tax purposes."