All that glisters ain’t what it appears to be.
North Vancouver RCMP are again warning the public after an uptick in reports about a familiar scam making its way around Metro Vancouver.
The swindle has numerous variations, but frequently involves a man or a couple approaching strangers and asking for help. They claim to be a wealthy family from the Middle East unable to access their money through the Canadian banking system. They tend to be well dressed and decked out with ostentatious amounts of gold jewelry, which they offer to sell at cut rate prices.
Sometimes, the fraudster is accompanied by a woman and a child. Other times, they claim to be fleeing an abusive relationship. Their backstory is 24-karat bunk.
Regardless of how the scam was perpetrated, the outcome for the victim is the same. They’ve been parted with their cash and left with fool’s gold that is absolutely worthless when taken to a jeweller.
So far, there have been no recent incidents on the North Shore, according to police, although there have been several reports around the Lower Mainland since the start of October. In February 2021, at least two victims were taken for $1,000 each while at North Vancouver gas stations. In both cases, the scammers approached their marks from a black Jeep Compass with Alberta licence plates.
If anyone approaches you in public, attempting to sell their jewelry, police recommend walking away and calling 911 immediately.
“If you have already been approached by these people, please call your local police and make a report,” said Const. Mansoor Sahak, North Vancouver RCMP spokesperson.