It sounds like the stuff of a bad Purim joke, but police weren’t laughing when several Tel Aviv residents filed a complaint about being “taken” by a scammer who had sold them a special gel that, according to the seller, was supposed to convert green paper into dollar bills. The gel, obviously, didn’t work, and police tracked down the culprit and arrested him.
The sale consisted of a “package deal,” which included special paper, and a gel that when applied to the paper would convert them into cash. According to the scammer, the paper was of the same type used by the U.S. Treasury, which printed dollars but covered them with a special ink, keeping them secure until they were needed for circulation; the gel was then applied to them, and they turned into legal tender. Victims were told that they could have a whole suitcase of the material – which the scammer had acquired – in exchange for thousands of shekels.
It was not clear if a demonstration was performed before the sale. The victims fell for the scam, and when no dollars resulted from the application of the gel, they called the police, who analyzed the material and were able to lift the culprit’s fingerprints off the paper – matching them to a known criminal. Police dispatched a team to pick up the scammer, and they were able to track him down and arrest him. He has been charged with a number of crimes, including fraud, counterfeiting and theft.
Police issued a call for other victims of similar scams to come forward. “By the nature of their circumstances, incidents like these get a lot of media attention. As a result, others who have been cheated usually come forward.” Police are “ready to investigate this and other incidents, and bring the criminals to justice.”