SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The owner of Pawn Pro is warning the public about a “fake gold” scam, he says many people are falling for.

The scam involves fake gold jewelry. Brian Waterstripe, owner of Pawn Pro on Erie Blvd. in Syracuse says the scam has been happening for about 8 years now. But just recently, it’s gotten much worse.

“We’re seeing it almost every single day. Where in the past people would come in two, three times a week with these items, asking you know can you tell me whether this is real or not,” said Waterstripe.

The owner says the way it works is the scammer who is dressed nicely, drives a nice car, and has a family usually in the backseat will flag down a person in a parking lot, often at a gas station.

“They claim to be broken down and for whatever reason unable to pay for gas, their credit cards are cancelled or something,” said Waterstripe.

The scammer then offers that person gold jewelry in exchange for cash. The only problem is.. it’s fake. Waterstripe says the fake gold is costing some victims a lot of money, paying anywhere from $20.00 to as much as $1,300.

“I would say the average that most people are giving is $100 to $200. Depending on how nice of a person you are I guess,” said Waterstripe.

Victims are then left with cheap, fake jewelry and no cash.

So how can you tell if it’s real or fake? Waterstripe says often, the fake gold is a little bit shinier and usually stamped 18-carat gold.

“I would just recommend not buying anything from anyone unless it were a well-established store,” said Waterstripe.

He says police are aware of the scam, but Waterstripe is still warning people to not fall for it.

He says the only way to tell if it’s real or not, is by getting the jewelry checked by an expert.