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Richmond RCMP warn of fake gold scam resurfacing

A cash-for-gold scam is being reporte in several B.C. cities. (Image credit: Shutterstock) A cash-for-gold scam is being reporte in several B.C. cities. (Image credit: Shutterstock)
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Mounties in Richmond are warning the public about the resurgence of a scam involving fake gold in the city.

Richmond RCMP said in a news release Saturday that they've received four recent reports of fraudsters selling fake gold and jewelry in their jurisdiction.

"Unfortunately, these types of frauds resurface periodically in our community," said Cpl. Adriana O’Malley in the release.

"We are issuing this public warning to bring awareness and educate people in the hopes of preventing further victimization."

According to police, the suspects in recent incidents have used two techniques: "verbal inducements" and sleight of hand.

In the former scenario, the fraudster tries to convince the victim to purchase the gold by playing on their emotions or offering to sell it at a low price, or both.

In the latter, the suspect will place the fake jewelry onto the victim and then remove it along with the victim's actual jewelry.

"The suspects committing these frauds can be very persuasive, often using stories that prey on the victim’s compassion to give money," the release reads. "These stories can include needing money to feed their family. The suspects in these series may also have their family, including children, present to add to the emotional pressure."

Police said those who are approached should never go anywhere with the suspect. Instead, they should immediately walk away and – when it's safe to do so – report the incident to local police.

"This is an example of if it seems too good to be true, it definitely is," O'Malley said. "We can’t stress enough: If someone approaches you on the street offering to sell you gold or jewelry, regardless of their explanation, say no and walk away." 

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