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All that glitters is not gold: Edmonton police warn of precious metal scam

Police warn of counterfeit gold bars

EDMONTON — Police in Edmonton are warning the public of an offer that is definitely not worth its weight in gold.

Investigators say they got wind late last year of counterfeit gold bars being sold to residents and merchants across the city.

Const. Robert Wellon says it's difficult to tell at first glance whether the bars are real or fake, but testing has shown that they are nothing more than copper plated in gold.

They are professionally packaged and have an official-looking stamp on them.

The fakes are being offered in various weights and range in price from $300 to $800 each, but their actual worth is about a toonie.

The scam first cropped up before Christmas in Winnipeg and police say as many as 20 gold merchants have been taken in Edmonton.

"From the testing that I've seen, it appears that they're from 94 to 96 per cent copper and then there's other elements on top of that. They're plated in gold," Const. Robert Wellon said Monday

Police are warning people to be suspicious if they're approached by someone wanting to make a sale.

Store merchants are the prime targets, but Wellon said police are  starting to see the bars being sold online through buy-and-sell websites such as Kijiji.


The Canadian Press