Did someone try selling you gold jewelry? It's likely fake | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Did someone try selling you gold jewelry? It's likely fake

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Kamloops RCMP
July 16, 2020 - 12:40 PM

Police are warning residents in the B.C. southern interior not to fall victim to a recurring seasonal crime series dubbed the Fake Gold Scam.

RCMP have received reports of the scam in Kelowna, Cranbrook, Penticton, Kamloops and the North Okanagan, in both June and July 2020, according to an RCMP release.

Police say that the scammer will approach their victim and offer to sell them gold jewelry, which the victim will later discover is fake.

Another scenario involves the scammer asking for money, often claiming to have lost their wallet and needs money for hospital bills or to escape an abusive domestic relationship. The fake gold jewelry is offered by the scammer as collateral, and the victim is not contacted again. 

This scam is not new to the region, as a total of 61 reports of fake gold scams were reported to RCMP across the Southeast District between April and December 2019. Scammers conned residents out of an estimated $15,000.

"Generally these scammers approach their potential victims in higher traffic areas such as, gas stations, grocery stores, shopping malls or plazas. They often target the kind of individuals who have a natural inclination to want to help someone in need or distress," Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, spokesperson for the B.C. RCMP said in a release.

"As we continue to transition into our new normal, RCMP ask residents to use their common sense and intuition to avoid such scams that will hit you in your wallet."

RCMP says that the scammers are usually both adult males and females and oftentimes appear South Asian or Middle Eastern, or claim to be from Dubai or Saudi Arabia. They are usually traveling in rental vehicles, sometimes with small children.

For more information on fraud prevention visit the BC RCMP website or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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