How the scam works:
The scammers approach you when you are traveling abroad with this business proposal after they befriend you and, oftentimes, after you get know each other over at least a few days – so you trust them.
Smooth talkers, they “secretly” reveal to you that their gemstones are worth a lot of money if sold in another country. However, blaming the fact that they are from a poor country, they say they can’t afford the high taxes to export them.
On the other hand, they say, if you were to buy the gems for a “good” price, you can export them under your duty free allowance and then sell them on at a huge profit.
The deal is that as soon as you arrive in the airport of your destination, an agent will meet you and help you to sell the jewels for two or three times the price.
The scammers will ask you for an upfront payment for the gems. To make it look official, they will seem concerned about your fairness and ask you for a “guarantee” – meaning your credit card number. Long story short, there is no “agent” waiting for you, while the gems are made of fake plastic glass.
In a different version of the scam, the business aspect is replaced with a friendly approach: you are asked to transport the gems to a “friend” who happens to live in the same city where you reside—and you will get a tip of $300 for doing it. The same things happens here as well– you have to leave a deposit and you’ll receive your tip when you deliver the stones.
How to avoid:
Never buy gems when you travel. Let that statement sink in for a bit.
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