CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are warning drivers about a group of scammers who are active in the area.
Investigators are calling it the “Romanian Scam” since many of the suspects are believed to be from Romania.
On April 12, a driver told police he was flagged down by a man on an off-ramp on I-485 near Pineville. The man claimed to need money for gas and food for his family. But it was all a scam.
“He had a knife visible in his waistband,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Det. Ricky Smith.
The scammer, who has been identified by police as 27-year-old Julian Basica aka Julian Gunici, forced the driver to return to his home to get his ATM card, then pull $1,000 out of the ATM.
“The victim withdrew the money and gave it to him. In exchange, the suspect was putting jewelry in the victim’s hand. Almost presenting it as a trade-off, but the victim never wanted the jewelry. So, the suspect left the scene,” said Smith.
Basica has not been captured. Police believe there are multiple crooks in the area, also from Romania, using the same scam. However, it’s unclear how many suspects or victims might be out there.
Police said if you see someone trying to flag you down on the interstate, to not pull over.