NORWALK (CBSLA) — Sheriff’s deputies in Norwalk are searching for two con artists who they said have been scamming elderly shoppers out of thousands of dollars.

“It’s terrible,” one shopper said. “Sadly there’s desperate people out there.”

Deputies said an 80-year-old woman was shopping at a Norwalk Target when she was approached by a man and a woman who tricked her into giving them $4,000 cash for a fake gold brick. The scammers convinced the victim that the gold brick was real and offered to sell it to her for half the value. They claimed they couldn’t sell it because they were in the country illegally.

The woman, believing the pair, then drove to a nearby bank and withdrew the money, deputies said. Once the woman learned she had been scammed, she called the police.

“It’s a horrible thing,” Sarah Arroyo, a Norwalk resident, said. “I had a grandmother who was a victim of somebody trying to get money from her over the phone using her responses to feed off of her emotions.”

Shoppers at the Target were outraged, especially after learning the scammers had allegedly committed similar crimes in Paramount and Anaheim.

Deputies said the elderly can be easy targets because they’re vulnerable, kind and trusting.

Authorities encouraged people to talk with their elderly loved ones about avoiding strangers who tried to sell them anything, especially of high value.

“If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably is,” Juanita Navarro-Suarez, of the sheriff’s department, said. “So these kinds of things, you really want to consider having conversations with your elderly family members or friends to avoid them being scammed.”

Deputies encouraged anyone who recognizes the pair to call the Norwalk Station immediately.

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