The Port Elizabeth police and Walmer Park Shopping Centre Security on Wednesday, foiled the scamming of an elderly man who was going to part with hundreds and thousands of rands, unknown to him, in exchange for fake emeralds.
Police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Alwin Labans, said that police received a complaint on Tuesday morning from Walmer Park Security that a man might become a victim of a scam by known scammers.
“They try and sell emeralds or diamonds to the victim by looking very legit as they have [South African Revenue Services] “Sars” papers of registered companies that deal with a mine in Zambia and get emeralds and diamonds very cheap,” Labans said.
He said the elderly man left Walmer Park in his car in the company of the suspected scammer.
Police managed to track them down at the Engen Garage at the Port Elizabeth Airport. The elderly man indicated that he was going to buy these ‘legal’ emeralds for R680,000 as the suspect with him already had a buyer who was apparently prepared to pay R1.3 million for the stones.
“[Scammers] usually do the deal and then the buyer finds out his precious ’emeralds’ are only glass pebbles,” said Labans.
Labans said as the complainant had not yet handed over any money, no crime had actually been committed.
The relieved elderly man opted not to open a case. However, police did later establish that the suspected scamster had previously been charged with robbery with firearm, fraud and driving under influence.