A man was arrested on Thursday after a group of people allegedly stopped a motorist in Orange County and persuaded him to spend $1,000 on jewelry that turned out to be fake, the California Highway Patrol said.
After assisting two disabled vehicles on the 5 Freeway north of State Route 55, Officer Lenart learned that a group of people had stopped a driver and persuaded him to purchase the counterfeit jewelry they were selling to get cash, according to a post on CHP Santa Ana’s Facebook page.
The investigation led to the arrest of a man on suspicion of theft by false pretense, the post stated. He was not immediately identified.
His arrest comes after several complaints over the past few months from motorists regarding an alleged scam that was taking place on Orange County freeways, according to CHP.
The motorists told CHP that they had been flagged down for assistance by a group of people who were stopped on the side of the road and waiving their hands for assistance.
Once the drivers pulled over to help, the individuals offered them fake jewelry for cash.
In announcing an arrest in the case, CHP distributed photos of the counterfeit goods that were confiscated.
But the scam isn’t just limited to Orange County — it’s happening in other parts of California.
“This is still an ongoing problem,” the agency tweeted in January. “Disabled drivers flagging people down, professing to be in need of funds and willing to part with jewelry marked as 18K gold.”
Anyone who finds themselves in such a situation is asked to dial 911.
UPDATE: DISABLED VEHICLE SCAM
This is still an ongoing problem; disabled drivers flagging people down, professing to be in need of funds and willing to part with jewelry marked as 18K gold. If you find you're in this circumstance, please call 911.
— CHP Central Division (@CHPCentralDiv) January 23, 2019
***Warning*** Pseudo disabled drivers trying to get money from passing motorists. The drivers try to sell fake jewelry for money to get home, and become belligerent when rejected. If you see these people, please do not try to intervene for law enforcement, dial 911 immediately. pic.twitter.com/Z99CqX96Gz
— CHP Central Division (@CHPCentralDiv) January 15, 2019