The Washington State Patrol (WSP) announced this week that it has received several reports and interviewed three separate victims involving individuals selling fake jewelry on freeways and ramps in the King County area in the past two weeks.
Troopers say that the reports are the same as ones received historically in this area and other parts of the state and around the country.
WSP said that the scam involves well-dressed individuals in higher-end rental vehicles who flag drivers down on the side of the freeway or ramps saying they need money for gas to get back home, saying that they will pay them back more and/or giving the victim gold jewelry in exchange for the cash.
This is typically an aggressive conversation that includes a demand for cash to help them.
Case #1: $10,000 scammed
This occurred on March 2, 2023 around 4 p.m. on eastbound SR 520 to southbound I-405. This victim drove to their bank after being stopped by the suspect and handed over $10,000.00 in exchange for the gold jewelry shown above. The victim in this case described the suspect as a male of Middle Eastern descent.
Case #2: $4,000 scammed
This occurred on March 7, 2023 around 10:40 a.m. on westbound SR 18 to SR 516. Two males in a brown KIA Cerato flagged over the victim and ultimately scammed $4,000.00 from him. The victim advised one looked to be in his 60s and the other 45-years-old and both appearing to be of Arabic descent.
Case #3: $1,000 scammed
This occurred March 9, 2023 around 2 p.m. on southbound I-405 to southbound I-5. The suspect was described as a heavy set male with a black beard and mustache in a suit driving a gray BMW SUB with no front plate. The suspect advised he needed to get back to Miami. The victim was scammed out of $1,000.00.
Washington State Patrol detectives are seeking anyone that may have information on these cases or any others not described above. Detectives would also like to speak with any other victims of this scam that have yet to contact police.
“Besides being a scam and illegal these situations are also very unsafe as these suspects are stopping on freeways and ramps where pedestrians are not allowed and at times stepping out into traffic in order to get drivers to pull over,” Troopers said. “If you find yourself in this type of situation DO NOT STOP! Call 9-1-1 as soon as possible and give location and any description of suspects and vehicles.”
If you have any leads, please contact Detective Ford at [email protected].