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Wilsonville police are asking residents to be on the lookout for scam artists after a Charbonneau resident had valuables stolen.

Wilsonville police are warning residents to be aware of scam artists after a Charbonneau resident had valuables stolen.

Wilsonville Police Chief Robert Wurpes said to be on the lookout for a man and woman, believed to be between 40 to 50 years old, who are targeting elderly and vulnerable people with a scam.

"Always be alert," Wurpes said. "Scammers have always been around, and if something seems too good to be true, it probably is."

According to Wurpes, the couple pulled up to the Charbonneau victim's residence while they were working inside their garage and began asking questions about the neighborhood in a distracting, rapid-fire manner.

The woman got out of her car and began draping jewelry on the victim while still carrying on the conversation. She told the victim that this was part of her culture and tradition, Wurpes said.

"Keep a safe distance from folks, there should be no reason for physical contact with strangers," he said.

She then grabbed the victim's hand and gave them two rings while also quickly removing the victim's Rolex watch and tying it off inside a sock, Wurpes said. She gave the sock back to the victim, and by the time the victim had untied the sock to get their watch, the couple left.

Inside the sock was a fake Rolex that mildly resembled the victim's original one, Wurpes said.

Similar reports have been made in Washington county, Beaverton and Woodburn, Wurpes said. The couple is also said to pretend to be broken down on the side of the road and flag people down for help, and then pay those who assist in jewelry.

"If you have had something stolen, or believe your identity, credit or bank information may have been compromised, please call us at our non-emergency line: 503-655-8211," Wurpes said. "One of our officers can discuss actions to take to protect yourself and, if needed, investigate the incident."

There are a few ways to protect yourself if you feel like you may be getting scammed, Wurpes said. Maintain a safe distance and leave the scene if you feel uncomfortable. Verbally expressing discomfort with something is fine too, Wurpes said.

It's important not to create an environment where we don't help someone in real need, he said, but there are ways to mitigate risk such as by making a phone call for someone instead of handing them your cell phone.

"True scammers don't deserve your kindness. If you are unsure, or just uneasy, just take a 'phone call' as you leave the scene," Wurpes said.


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