The Edmonton Police Service is warning the public about counterfeit gold bars being sold to citizens and merchants across the city.
Police received information late last year regarding the sale of counterfeit gold bars to various merchants in Edmonton. Upon further investigation, it was quickly determined that the counterfeit gold bars were indeed fakes.
“It can be difficult to tell whether this product is real or fake upon first glance,” says Const. Robert Wellon with the Criminal Investigation Section in Northwest Division. “We tested the product for authenticity and quickly determined these gold bars were nothing more than copper bars plated in gold.”
Investigators are warning merchants and citizens to be cautious should they be approached by someone selling gold bars, which appear professionally packaged and authentic.
The counterfeit gold bars are being sold in various weight denominations and range in price. They weigh from 10 to 31 grams per piece and suspects are selling them for anywhere between $300 and $800 each.
Counterfeit gold bar (back)
Counterfeit gold bar (front)
A total of 220 grams ($10,000 market value) of counterfeit gold has been recovered by the EPS throughout this investigation.
“There have been approximately 20 sales transactions involving the counterfeit gold here in Edmonton alone,” says Wellon. “Store merchants are usually the primary target of this type of crime, but we are now starting to see this product being sold online through buy and sell websites, such as Kijiji.”
The Edmonton Police Service encourages all buyers and merchants to ask questions and request a purchase receipt from the seller.
“When something seems too good to be true - it usually is,” reminds Wellon.
Anyone who has information about the counterfeit gold bars is encouraged to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm.