A Hesperia woman was tricked into handing over $800 for a fake "gold brick."


On the afternoon of Tuesday, May 18, the victim was in the K-Mart parking lot when a Hispanic female approached her.


"She first asked the victim, a 70 year old Hispanic female, if she could help her find an address of someone she knew in Hesperia," sheriff's department spokeswoman Roxanne Walker said Monday. "A male suspect came along and joined the female suspect. The female suspect said she was here in town to sell a gold bar worth $12,000 for medical expenses for her uncle. She offered the gold bar to the victim as collateral for a loan of $800. The victim agreed."


The victim got into a car with the two suspects and drove to Wells Fargo Bank, where the victim withdrew the money.


"They left the bank and they made an agreement to meet later in the day so the suspect could pay the victim back her $800," said Walker. "Of course, they never returned."


A jeweler later identified the gold brick for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department as brass.


"There have been many similar type scams all with the same motive," said Walker. "Never do business with a complete stranger, who approaches you in a parking lot, store, or other unlikely place to conduct a business transaction. That is a pretty good clue it is not a legitimate transaction. Never offer to give money to anyone you do not know, unless you are donating money to a charity or other organization and you know they are legitimate. These scam artists prey on the elderly and have no problem taking your life's savings. Report this suspicious behavior to law enforcement with a description of the suspects, vehicle, etc."


The female suspect is described as a Hispanic woman in her 40s, well dressed and heavy-set with brown hair. She spoke only Spanish during the commission of the crime.


The male suspect is described as a man in his '70s, tall, nicely dressed, thin with gray hair and wearing a hat.


The pair left in a four-door black compact car.


Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Hesperia station at 760-947-1500 or WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star