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British Columbia RCMP

Raising awareness to help prevent jewelry swindles

A common jewelry scam is making the rounds once again in the Lower Mainland and the BC RCMP is reminding the public to be vigilant and protect themselves from swindlers.

This week the BC RCMP was alerted to incidents which have taken place in a number of detachments in the Lower Mainland including Mission, Chilliwack, Maple Ridge, Richmond, and Burnaby, where members of the public were defrauded after being approached for financial assistance in parking lots. The BC RCMP is again issuing a warning in the hopes of preventing further victimization. A similar plea was issued earlier this summer following a string of incidents in the southeastern part of the province

In these incidents, the victims were approached by individuals who claimed they were travelers from out of province – and out of money. Under the guise of trying to raise money to return home, they offered to sell their valuable gold jewelry to the victims. The jewelry is offered to the victim at what is purported to be a much lower price than its value. In an effort to help the traveler, the victims bought the jewelry and later discovered they were worthless fakes. The victims in these recent incidents paid $800, and $1000 for what turned out to be costume jewelry.

This scam is successful in part, because it relies on the fact that so many people are willing to help a person they believe is in distress. That is why it’s important that we spread the word about this scam, said Staff Sergeant Janelle Shoihet, BC RCMP Media Relations Officer. It’s great to help people but be cautious, particularly when someone is offering you a great deal on high valued jewelry. Ask yourself ‘if the jewelry is so valuable, and they need cash, why don’t they pawn it themselves?

For more information on scams and fraud visit our BC RCMP website.

Released by

S/Sgt. Janelle ShoihetSenior Media Relations Officer
BC RCMP Communication Services
bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca
14200 Green Timbers Way, Surrey, BC V3T 6P3 – Mailstop #1608
Office: 778-290-4134
Cell: 604-657-5730
Fax: 778-290-6114

Email: janelle.shoihet@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

Categories
British Columbia RCMP

Fake gold scam alert

Mounties are warning of a fake gold scam going around in the Southern Interior. 

Scammers approach their victims, often people who are naturally inclined to want to help people in need, at gas stations, grocery stores, shopping malls or plazas. 

The fraudsters then offer to sell them gold jewelry; the transaction is completed but the victim later finds out the gold is fake.

In another case, the scammer asks for money, often claiming to have lost their wallet. They say they need money for hospital bills or to escape an abusive domestic relationship, according to a news release from RCMP. 

“In this scenario, the con artist offers gold jewelry to the victim as collateral. The victim later discovers the gold is not real and does not hear back from the suspect,” police say. 

Scammers are usually both adult males and females; they usually appear South Asian or Middle Eastern, and sometimes claim to be from Dubai or Saudi Arabia. Some travel around in rental vehicles, sometimes with small children. 

“We recognize that many occurrences go unreported, as often times victims are embarrassed to acknowledge that they have fallen for these tactics. If you or a loved one has fallen victim to a similar scam, please call your local police,” Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey says in the release.

Between April and December 2019, Southeast District Mounties received 61 reports about the fake gold scam. Residents in the region were conned out of an estimated $15,000.

There weren’t as many incidents in the first part of 2020, likely due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place, RCMP say.

However, offenders are on the move again, with reports coming from Kamloops, Kelowna, Cranbrook, Penticton and the North Okanagan in June and July.

You can see the original Castanet article here