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Fraudsters trick B.C. man into buying $1,800 of fake gold jewellery

Police say scammers claimed to be wealthy foreigners who had been robbed and need cash
Police are warning the public after a New Westminster man was scammed into buying fake gold for $1,800. (New Westminster Police Department)

B.C. police are warning people of a fake gold scam after a New Westminster man was tricked into buying $1,800 of mostly worthless jewellery.

Police say the man was walking in the Uptown neighbourhood of New Westminster when a couple and three children drove up to him. The couple told the man they were wealthy visitors from Dubai and that they had been robbed of all their cash. They said they needed money for food and gas and asked the man if he would be interested in buying gold jewellery off of them.

The man gave them $1,800 in exchange for some necklaces, rings and bracelets. It wasn’t until he took the jewellery to be tested that he learned it wasn’t really gold.

Police say the couple was driving a dark grey BMW SUV.

The man is described as in his late thirties, standing about 5’8”, with a medium skin tone and medium build. He had a buzzed haircut and stubble on his face. The woman is described as 5’5”, with a medium build and wearing a hijab.

New Westminster Police Sgt. Andrew Leaver said the two likely brought children with them because it plays on people’s emotions.

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

Leaver said these kinds of scams are often perpetrated in public places, such as on the street or in parking lots.

“Scammers can be very convincing, and have been known to rent luxury vehicles and wear expensive looking clothes. If you are approached on the street by someone selling jewelry or gold, we ask that you say no and report them to police.”

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