Fake gold scam artists hit North Vancouver
2021-03-01 12:45 PST
File # 2021-4702
North Vancouver RCMP are warning the public about a group of fraud artists running a "fake gold scam" making the rounds through Lower Mainland communities. Two recent incidents in North Vancouver are among more than a dozen that have taken place throughout various lower mainland jurisdictions since the beginning of February. The incidents are similar to others reported throughout Southeastern BC in the summer of 2020.
The scam involves multiple people and an elaborate ruse. "They put on a pretty compelling show," said Sgt. Peter DeVries of the North Vancouver RCMP. "Sometimes it's a man, woman and child, sometimes there's a second woman and second child, and in other cases, it's a group of men," he said. "In almost every case, the group is driving a rental vehicle bearing Alberta license plates."
One person from the group will approach a potential victim, claim they are in trouble of some sort, and ask for the person's help. "They wear layers of gold-coloured necklaces, rings on just about every finger, big gaudy earrings, and even the children are decked out in sparkling finery. The men are usually wearing business attire, and the women are dressed in clothing reminiscent of middle eastern cultures." They claim to be very wealthy foreigners from the Middle East, and that due to a technical problem with the Canadian banking system, are unable to access funds from their "vast wealth" back home. "That's when they present a tidy, seemingly mutually beneficial solution," said DeVries. "They offer to sell some of their family's 'highly valuable' jewelry for a discount."
Of course, the jewelry is fake, and once the scammers have cash in hand, the unwitting victim goes to a jeweler to sell the items only to discover they are all but worthless. "Our concern is both for those who stand to lose money, and for the fact the scammers are involving children in these offences," said DeVries. "Anyone who is approached by such a group should walk away and immediately call 911, and if you have already been approached by these people, please call your local police and make a report."
For more information on fraud prevention, please or visit the "Safety First" section of the North Vancouver RCMP Website, or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- Scammer approaches their victim and offers to sell them gold jewelry, a transaction is completed and the victim later discovers the gold is not real;
- Scammer approaches an individual and asks for money, often claiming to have lost their wallet and needs money for hospital bills or to escape an abusive domestic relationship. 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;
- Scammers are usually both adult males and females and oftentimes appear South Asian or Middle Eastern, and sometimes claim to be from the Middle East;
- Scammers are usually associated to and traveling around in rental vehicles, sometimes with small children.
Sgt. Peter DeVriesMedia Relations Officer
North Vancouver RCMP
nvan.rcmp-grc.gc.ca (English only)
147 East 14th St, North Van., BC, V7L 2N4
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