Edmonton

Con man, posing as Italian fashion designer, takes victims for 'large sums of money'

A smooth-talking con artist, posing as an Italian fashion designer down on his luck, is busy at work in St. Albert "talking people out of their hard-earned dollars," warn RCMP.

Scam artist is particularly 'well-rehearsed and very convincing,' police say

The Alberta Securities Commission hosted a fake investment seminar in Calgary as a stunt for Fraud Prevention Month. (pexels.com)

A smooth-talking con artist, posing as an Italian fashion designer down on his luck, is busy at work in St. Albert "talking people out of their hard-earned dollars," warn RCMP.

Shoppers should be on the look out for the man after three people were taken for "large sums of money" on Oct. 3 and 4, police say.

The man, of slight to average build, about 5'9", with a short, trimmed beard, approaches people in various parking lots in St. Albert, including Staples, Rona and Rosedale, investigators say.

He is tanned, has black hair with a receding hairline, speaks with a thick Italian accent and wears a silver chronograph watch. 

The con man sits inside a black Nissan SUV, holding a map, and asking for directions to the airport.

He then strikes up a conversation with his target, and tells them he needs money to get back home to Italy, police said.

He shows documents to support his story, and offers gifts of leather jackets and designer suits as a thank you for loaning him money, claiming that the clothing items are samples which he won't be able to ship overseas.

Police say similar "fake leather jacket" scams have been around for years, but say this scam artist is particularly "well-rehearsed and very convincing."

Although police have received complaints for people in various age groups, they believe the man is primarily targeting seniors.

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