A group of fraudsters acting as salespeople in Los Angeles Koreatown are targeting elderly Korean-Americans, who are persuaded into buying false medication that is disguised as an all-in-one answer for all forms of physical discomfort.
California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently issued a warning about the dangers of buying medication sold on the streets. Those drugs, many of which are sold by con artists playing themselves off as reputable salesmen, may contain detrimental ingredients, including fentanyl, which could potentially cause deaths, the CDPH added.
Many of the fraudsters allegedly attempt to develop personal relationships with elderly Korean-Americans at local fast food restaurants, often common hangouts for the retired residents in nearby areas.
The conmen work as a pair, pretending to be a salesman and a client, with the latter responsible for approaching the target of their fraud as an ordinary passerby.
He then introduces the alleged victims to his partner in crime, disguised as a salesman, saying that the medication he recently bought from him for just $500 has improved his health tremendously from high blood pressure and diabetes.
“I thought the samples they gave me on the spot were fine,” said an anonymous victim of the crime, only identified by his last name Lee, who is in his 80s. “They told me that what I was buying was germanium that will help me with my diabetes. I took it for a few days, and it made me feel like my head was about to shatter.”
Another form of rampant fraud in Koreatown has been the claims of those who say that they have found a secret area in the Philippines where Yamashita’s gold, the mythically alleged treasure stolen by the Japanese forces during World War II, is hidden.
Amazingly, the victims have fallen for such a ludicrous claims and have even chosen to “invest” up to $100,000 of their savings after being convinced to believe the conman who promised to return with a larger some.
By Hyoung Jae Kim