The story begins as a customer comes to the store looking for the manager. He tells the manager (Zhen Chen) that he was specifically referred to come ask him for help because he had a impeccable reputation for shipping. The conman’s story allegedly spun for him was a half adventure story, half “Kind Sir”-style Nigerian e-mail scam.
While working a construction site in Long Island, the man said, they uncovered a clay pot. Inside was a old letter written in classic Chinese and a undisclosed amount of boat-shaped gold ingots called Jin Yuan Bao, an ancient form of currency. The letter was a will from a Chinese official to give the gold to three sons and indicated whoever fulfilled the task will be rewarded with half the gold. After telling the story, the man allegedly asked Mr. Chen to keep this a secret and looked extremely frightened about the situation.
Mr. Chen explained that it is illegal to send gold or jewelry internationally and advised the man to give up on sending it back to China. The conman then proceeded to convince Mr. Chen to buy the gold from him in hopes of helping him out and keep this in secrecy. Mr. Chen spoke to the store owner (Carter Tse) and asked if it was a good investment regardless of the conman’s request to keep it a secret due to his loyalty to the company. The owner advised Zhen to do his due diligence and confirm this mans story before coming up with any conclusions.
The story gets more interesting as a few days later the man come back with the gold and a accomplice. He shows Mr. Chen the Gold and the old written letter. While being distracted with the letter, the conman pretends to break a piece of the gold and let Mr. Chen inspect and bring to a Jewler. The gold passed as real gold but something was just not right as he realized he never saw the actual gold being cut. Mr. Tse commented if something sounds too good to be true, it may be too good to be true. After being very skeptical Mr. Chen started doing some homework, searched online and found similar stories, almost identical to his encounter with this conman but was schemed of thousands of dollars.
We’ve come to a conclusion that this person is a conman and preying on people in the Chinese community. Mr. Chen needed to take action to prevent this from happening to anyone or our customers, friends and family. Mr. Chen tells the conman he needs to get the money prepared and tells him to come with the gold. Mr Chen notified the local patrol police officer to come arrest this con artist in the act and took him away. We would like everyone to please be careful and don’t be a victim to stories that sound too good to be true as this same situation has happened to Chinese people across the country. Please bring awareness to everyone you know to prevent this from happening to anyone, similar stories have targeted the asian community as like in these articles from around the country.