$20,000 fraud scheme involving jewelry and plane tickets fails in southeast Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — The Gage County Sheriff’s Office is sharing a fraud alert with law enforcement agencies across our area.

Officials said this case is a lot different than the phony emails and phone calls we’re normally warned about.

The attempted fraud happened in person, and a man could have lost tens of thousands of dollars had the suspects not run off.

The sheriff’s office said this all began Thursday afternoon at a gas station in Cortland.

A man said he was approached by some people saying they’d give him a bunch of jewelry.

They claimed that it was worth $50,000 and said he could keep it for just $20,000.

He said the suspects claimed that they needed money to purchase plane tickets back to the United Arab Emirates.

“Being the kindhearted gentlemen that most Nebraskans are,” he was willing to help, said Sgt. Tim Hanson of the sheriff’s office. 

They then followed him to a bank in Pickrell before suddenly vanishing and leaving their jewelry behind.

The man told bank employees what was going on, and they called the sheriff’s office.

Authorities think that these people are not from the area and that this is a unique case.

The sheriff’s office is alerting people on how to identify these scams, saying if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

“Call law enforcement right away; don’t be embarrassed,” Hanson said. “Don’t succumb to any type of pressure or demands and just take a minute and stop and think.” 

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