A couple – accompanied by three children – is alleged to have defrauded a New West resident out of $1,800 in a gold scam.
The New Westminster Police Department is warning the public about the fake gold scam, following a report from a local resident.
Police say the incident began when the victim was approached while he was walking in his uptown New West neighbourhood. The fraudsters were described as a man and woman, who were driving a dark grey BMW SUV and were accompanied by three children.
According to a NWPD press release, the couple claimed to be wealthy visitors from Dubai who had recently been robbed of their cash. They told the resident they were in need of cash for food and gas, and offered to sell their gold jewelry.
“The victim suspected he had been defrauded of $1,800 when the jewelry was tested and determined to be counterfeit,” said the press release.
The New Westminster Police Department is investigating and is asking people to come forward if they have information that could lead to the identification of the suspects.
The first suspect is described as a man in his late 30s, with a medium skin tone, medium build, standing approximately 5’8” with a buzzed haircut and stubble on his face. The second suspect is described as a woman standing 5’5”, with a medium build and wearing a hijab.
“Fraudsters bring children with them because they know it plays to the emotions of their victims and makes their sad story more convincing,” said NWPD spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Leaver. “New Westminster is a compassionate city, and these scammers are aware that they can use that virtue to their advantage.”
The police department reports that fraudsters perpetrating this scam are known to approach people in public places, including 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,” Leaver said. “If you are approached on the street by someone selling jewelry or gold, we ask that you say no and report them to police.”
If you have been a victim of fraud, report it to the New Westminster Police Department by calling 604-525-5411.