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, including North Vancouver.
Two recent incidents in North Vancouver are among more than a dozen that have taken place throughout various lower mainland jurisdictions since February.
The incidents are similar to others reported throughout Southeastern BC in the summer of 2020.
The scam involves multiple people in a group and an elaborate ruse.
One person from a 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 say they are unable to access funds from their “vast wealth” back home because of a technical problem with the Canadian banking system.
That’s when they present a tidy, seemingly mutually beneficial solution, and 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.