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Woman loses thousands of dollars in fake diamond scam

By McKenzie Romero | Posted - Feb 27th, 2013 @ 9:00pm

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WEST VALLEY CITY — Police say a woman who used a fake diamond to swindle another woman out of thousands of dollars has struck a second time, this time with an accomplice. 

West Valley City police said two Hispanic women approached another woman who was shopping near 3100 South and 5600 West on Feb. 16, saying they needed help.

"They talked to her basically in Spanish about a story that the suspect and her husband had been in an accident and needed money for medical bills," said Sgt. Craig Martinez with the Orem Police Department.

One of the women offered a story about her family being hurt in a terrible car accident earlier that day and that she needed money to cover medical expenses. The second woman explained she was helping raise the necessary funds. 

The pair asked the woman to buy a diamond, which ended up being fake, for $5,000 and promised a $14,000 return. 

"It is very difficult with my family because right now there is not a lot of work for anybody," said the victim, Maria Hernandez.

The description of the woman matches that of a woman involved in a similar incident in Orem, where a woman with a similar story convinced a female shopper at University Mall on Feb. 13 to withdraw $8,000 from her bank account and loan it to her.

The woman promised to repay the money and offered a diamond as collateral until the loan was repaid. The gem was actually made of glass. 

Anyone with information about the scam and those involved is asked to call Orem police at 801-229-7070 or West Valley City police at 801-840-4000.

Contributing: Andrew Wittenberg


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