The Notorious Gold Ring Scam That’s Hitting Gas Stations Everywhere

Source: KIRO 7 /

No one appreciates being scammed, and there seems to be a considerable propagation of scams lately. This latest scam has it all, and it’s so easy to fall for it that dozens of people around the US already have. Let’s dive into this scam and reveal it before they catch anyone else.

It Starts With a Gas-Station Stop

Source: Flickr/ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine

These cons all start with the same setup. The victim is filling gas at a station, and the people running the scam pull up near them. Most people wouldn’t give the con the time of day if it were just anyone stopping beside them, but this crew is clever.

According to some people, the people who pull up next to them drive a fancy-enough SUV and are well-dressed. Those people aren’t the ones that look like they’ll scam you out of your money, so most people are willing to at least listen to them about their plight.

A Non-Threatening Approach

Source: Flickr/Neil Moralee

Being well-dressed isn’t enough to lower people’s defenses, so these scam artists typically approach the victim non-threateningly. This approach also helps the victim get used to the scam artist before they pitch the idea they have in mind.

The hook for this particular scam is that the scam artists are citizens of Dubai who are in the US for a visit, and their credit and debit cards mysteriously stop working. If this were anyone else, most people wouldn’t give them the time of day. However, the setup works with these scam artists.

A Road Trip Across the US

Source: Flickr/Jasperdo

The scam artist typically tells the victim that they’re headed across the US on a road trip. That seems innocent and believable enough, especially for tourists. They then ask if they can borrow some money for gas to fulfill one leg of their journey.

The “stranded traveler from Dubai” story isn’t entirely unbelievable, and the way the con artists approach the victim makes it even more believable. However, the real con happens after the group gets a little money from the potential victim.

Sam Almost Got Scammed, and Here’s His Story

Source: Flickr/CBGB_Hoser

An innocent man named Sam posted on a forum about this scam, and that’s what got so many people to compare notes. Sam met the group of con artists in a gas station, and they pitched their story to him. After Sam gave them twenty bucks, he thought that would be it.

Unfortunately, offering the group money seemed to encourage them. They respectfully offered Sam an exchange – the driver’s gold ring for $150 or $200 more. The group insisted they would pay Sam back and let him hold onto the ring as collateral.

A Story Too Good to Be True

Source: Flickr/Craig Kaplan

Anyone who understands precious metals knows that a solid gold ring is worth a lot. It’s worth a lot more than $150 to $200, and if you’re getting it refunded just by holding onto the ring, it seems like a great deal.

With a solid gold ring like that, if the money didn’t return, you could just take it to a pawn shop and make even more than the original loan. Of course, in such a cas, the lender’s greed would convince them to hand over the cash, knowing it’s an unequal transaction.

Sam Avoids Being Fleeced

Source: Flickr/Magic Foundry

Sam didn’t have the extra funds, but he found it a bit suspicious that they’d be willing to part with such an expensive item at a gas station. Yet, thinking about the scam artists’ story, it seemed legitimate, especially if they were from Dubai.

In the West, Dubai is known as a country that’s dripping with wealth. It’s not wholly impossible to think that a traveler from there would part with a gold ring for some change to fill up their car. This plausibility is at the heart of the scam.

Applying Pressure To The Situation

Source: Flickr/ Tool Dude8mm

Once the scam artists knew Sam bought their cover story, they moved in for the kill. Sam handed them back the ring, but they insisted that he keep it as “collateral” for their loan. They told Sam the ring they were offering him was around 18 carats, making it extremely valuable.

They tried very hard to push the ring on Sam, but being an honest person, Sam declined to take the ring. Eventually, the group took the ring and left, and Sam told them to keep the money he loaned them, but his suspicions were awoken, and he posted about his experience online.

Not The Only Victim

Source: Flickr/ Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier

In response to Sam’s post, many people came out to report they had been involved in a similar situation. The setup was always the same, even the cover story and the gold ring. However, things got more sinister when someone who took the offer chimed in.

Apparently, the ring the group was offering wasn’t a gold ring. One commenter said that their buddy took the ring, and when no communication was forthcoming from the group in a few months, he attempted to sell it. He was told flatly that the “gold” in the ring was fake.

Extending Across The World

Source: Flickr/Nicolas Raymond

Sam’s experience happened in Utah, but other commenters noted that they ran into similar situations around the country. One man stated that his friend actually exchanged $150 for the “gold” ring in Arizona and eventually found out the ring was a fake.

It isn’t only in the US either, as commenters from Europe also highlighted that they had run into the scam. All of the commenters offered a significant sum of money, some taking the ring and others avoiding the endpoint of the fraud. Sam found himself lucky to only lose a small amount.

Life Imitates Art, Sometimes Very Closely

Source: Flickr/Brecht Bug

Readers who have watched the movie Zombieland would be aware that this scam was probably derived from one in the film. Almost beat-for-beat, this scam follows the same one filmed, although the result varies depending on who the victim is.

Whether the authorities would crack down on this scam or not is uncertain. This scam is likely being run by several groups, so tracking each of them down would be difficult. At the very least, now you know not to accept a gold ring from a traveler from Dubai for gas money.

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Charlotte Clad

Written by Charlotte Clad

Charlotte Clad is a brilliant writer who possesses the remarkable ability to craft content that goes viral and leaves an indelible mark on readers. With an innate passion for storytelling and an unwavering commitment to her craft, Charlotte has consistently pushed the boundaries of creativity to captivate audiences worldwide.

As a prolific writer, Charlotte has the rare gift of turning ordinary subjects into viral phenomena. Her articles and narratives resonate deeply with readers, igniting discussions and spreading rapidly across the digital landscape. Charlotte's work has not only garnered millions of views but has also sparked enduring conversations, establishing her as a respected and influential figure in the realm of viral content.

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