At least two people in Carson City have been bilked out of thousands of dollars in two separate diamond scams recently, a police official said Monday.
In the first instance a man handed over $10,000 cash with the agreement to pay an additional $9,000 for diamonds a jeweler had appraised at $85,000, said Sgt. Bob White.
When the buyer checked the goods after handing over the cash, he realized he instead had glass. The seller never showed up the following morning to collect the remainder of the money.
On Jan. 13, a woman was approached at J.C. Penney by another woman saying she needed to sell some diamonds she had for $10,000 because her husband was in an accident and in the hospital.
The second scam was more elaborate, White said, because there were two women involved.
When the victim initially resisted, she saw the seller approach a second shopper nearby, whom police suspect was also in on the scam.
The three became engaged in conversation and the second shopper said she would leave her purse with the victim and seller and take the diamonds to be checked by a jeweler friend.
When she returned, the second shopper told the victim the jeweler appraised the diamonds at $25,000 and he wanted to buy them. The second shopper suggested she and the victim both put forth $5,000 and then resell them to the jeweler the following day.
White said the victim agreed and the trio of women went to the credit union, where the victim withdrew $1,500 and borrowed the remainder from her brother. The following morning, the second shopper and her alleged jeweler never arrived. The victim had the diamonds appraised and they were found to be bogus, White said.
"They are preying on people's greed," White said. "If someone is selling something that is worth a lot of money for next to nothing, it's either fake or it's stolen," he said.
White said its unlikely any of the suspects will be apprehended.
"If you think you're getting the deal of the century, you're probably not," White said.
Contact reporter F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.