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Fake gold scam costs New Westminster resident $1,800, police say

New Westminster police shared this photo of the fake gold jewelry the scammers gave the victim. (NWPD) New Westminster police shared this photo of the fake gold jewelry the scammers gave the victim. (NWPD)
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Police in New Westminster are warning the public to be wary of fake gold scams after a recent incident that cost a resident $1,800.

Authorities did not say when the scam occurred, but said the victim was walking in the Uptown neighbourhood when he was approached by a man and a woman driving a dark grey BMW SUV, accompanied by three children.

"The couple claimed to be wealthy visitors from Dubai that had recently been robbed of their cash," said the New Westminster Police Department in a news release Wednesday.

"The fraudsters said they were in need of cash for food and gas, and offered to sell their gold jewelry. The victim suspected he had been defrauded of $1,800 when the jewelry was tested and determined to be counterfeit."

Police said the male suspect is a man in his late 30s with "a medium skin tone," a medium build, a buzzed haircut and stubble on his face. He stands roughly 5'8" tall.

The second suspect is a woman with a medium build who was wearing a hijab and stands roughly 5'5", NWPD said.

Investigators are asking anyone with information that could lead to the identification of the suspects to come forward.

"Fraudsters bring children with them because they know it plays to the emotions of their victims and makes their sad story more convincing,” said Sgt. Andrew Leaver, in the release.

“New Westminster is a compassionate city, and these scammers are aware that they can use that virtue to their advantage.”

Leaver added that scammers can be very convincing, sometimes renting luxury vehicles and wearing expensive-looking clothes to bolster their frauds.

"If you are approached on the street by someone selling jewelry or gold, we ask that you say no and report them to police," he said.

Victims of fraud are asked to report it to the NWPD by calling 604-525-5411. 

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