EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — State Police are advising Pennsylvania residents of the rise of recent crimes committed by Romanians claiming to be in need of money and stealing from various locations.

According to Pennsylvania State Police, these criminals are described as Middle Eastern or Hispanic, posing as Romomas willing to exchange gold jewelry marked at “18k” for money. Police say the jewelry is fake and these scammers may also try and steal jewelry off the victim

Investigators state these suspects approach customers in parking lots and inside casinos trying to gain sympathy from the victims to give them money.

According to police, the Romanian scammers commit a variety of crimes, including:

  • Counterfeit jewelry scams
  • Quick-change schemes at retail locations
  • Cell phone thefts
  • Gym locker thefts
  • Jewelry store distraction theft
  • Placing skimming devices on ATM’s and self checkout registers

PSP wants to remind PA residents to be mindful of their surroundings and consider if something does not seem right to report the suspicious activity to local law enforcement.