NATION VALLEY — There’s no indication yet that anyone has actually fallen victim, but police confirm receiving reports of an alleged scam involving a man speaking poor English and posing as a sad-sack motorist who wants to swap ‘gold’ for gas money.
And the involved individual is definitely causing a splash on local social media with his creepy ploy. According to recent Facebook posts, the man has been spotted at a number of rural locations in Dundas County, with a car parked along the roadside as he flags down traffic and claims to have run out of gas. He asks for gas money in exchange for jewellery that he brandishes.
His modus operadi appears to be a variation or evolution on the “gas station scam” that made headlines elsewhere last year. Those accounts suggest the jewellery or gold turns out to be cheap or fake, and offered near a gas station.
The individual in this instance has been working the side of the road, as reported by Brinston-area resident Betty Cook in a public Facebook post yesterday: “I was on my way to Williamsburg, just east of Dundela, a car waved me down, thought it was someone I knew. He got out of the passenger side and ran over to the car. In very broken English said he needed help his car was broke and needed money, wanted to give me his gold watch for money. I immediately left. BEWARE”
“Just beware: My son Drew was stopped by a guy on county Rd #18 just East of Dundela,” posted Kelly De Dekker about an incident in the same vicinity. “He had his car parked along the road with his 4ways on and stood in the middle of the road, so Drew stopped. He was asking for money for gas then offered him a ring in exchange for money. Drew only had his window down a very little bit but the guy was very persistent and tried to stick his hand with the ring in through the crack of the window. Drew just said he didn’t have any cash and drove off!”
“I know we have had reports of similar circumstances,” confirms SD&G OPP Const. Tylor Copeland, also noting that no victims have come forward claiming to have lost funds to the poseur. Copeland adds the SD&G OPP has had “no success at this point in locating the people doing these scams.”
Stephanie Lynn Lapier went into more detail in her Facebook post and how she tried to help the man, noting she “got lucky in this siutation.”
“This morning around 9am, a male wearing a suit and tie was waving down vehicles, I pulled over (I have NEVER pulled over in my life.) He runs over, I can hardly understand, basically, from Dubai, take chain for money for gas. Had no money told him I’ll be back 10 mins, went and got our gas can. Went to gas station and went back to help and they were gone.
“Short male, Indian decent, hardly any english hard to understand, suit and tie, missing couple teeth, he also stands right into oncoming traffic then jumps out the way while driving. He threw his chain passenger seat I gave it back and told him brb [be right back.]”