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Home News Cautionary Tale: Holiday Shoppers Warned of Jewelry Scams in Southeast Missouri

Cautionary Tale: Holiday Shoppers Warned of Jewelry Scams in Southeast Missouri

by Madonna

As the holiday season ushers in a surge of shopping activities, residents in Southeast Missouri are being cautioned about a prevalent jewelry scam that has recently targeted unsuspecting victims in Sikeston. While scams tend to escalate during this festive period, some quick-thinking individuals managed to thwart the attempts of would-be scammers in a rather unexpected setting.

Sam Thomas, the owner of Sam’s Fine Jewelry in Sikeston, and Paige McCormick, the Chief Operating Officer, found themselves the targets of a jewelry scam when leaving a gas station. A stranger approached them, holding a gold object and attempting to engage them in a dubious exchange. Unbeknownst to the scammer, they had chosen the wrong individuals to target.

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“I was started as a master goldsmith and then eventually opened my own store and then now I own this store,” shared Thomas, highlighting his extensive experience in the jewelry industry.

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The scam typically unfolds with scammers approaching potential victims, claiming to be short on cash or having left their wallet at home. In exchange for a nominal amount of money, they offer what they purport to be valuable jewelry. In this case, a familiar ring was presented, allegedly worth $1,500 or $2,000, with the scammers expressing urgency for immediate cash.

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“It’s very easy to fall victim to this because they seem so genuine,” remarked McCormick, adding that the scammers often employ emotional tactics, such as feigning distress, to enhance their credibility.

Thomas emphasized that they encounter individuals with fake rings from this scam frequently, especially during the holiday season. The perpetrators, aware of the transient nature of their scheme, can easily disappear after duping unsuspecting victims.

“We see it a lot in the summer season and around the holiday season because it’s a time where people are eager to give, eager to help out,” explained McCormick.

Both Thomas and McCormick, having dealt with such situations over the years, were able to identify the scam immediately and avoid falling victim. They advocate for increased awareness, urging people to pay attention to details such as the scammers’ vehicle, appearance, and the direction they take on the interstate. Reporting such incidents promptly to law enforcement can help prevent others from falling prey to these deceptive tactics. As holiday shopping reaches its peak, the cautionary tale serves as a reminder to remain vigilant and informed in the face of potential scams.

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