A Petaluma resident told police someone on TikTok offered to turn cremated ashes into artwork but then demanded thousands of dollars to return the remains, California officials reported.
After paying the fee and sending the ashes, the resident faced threats and blackmail, Petaluma police said in a Jan 7 news release.
The scammer also demanded US$3,000 (RM13,125) to return the ashes, police said.
The resident notified police and asked to have the story shared to prevent anyone else from falling victim to the scam, the release said.
“Be extremely cautious when purchasing items from online platforms,” police warned.
Police also advised online shoppers to check for multiple positive reviews and avoid offers that seem too good to be true. If you think you are the victim of a scam, notify your bank, police and the Federal Trade Commission.
Petaluma is a city of 60,000 people near Santa Rosa and about 40 miles north of San Francisco. – The Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service