Fake gold suspect caught on camera as scam continues across the Okanagan – Vernon News
A man who says he fell prey to fake gold scammers last year has come forward with photos of a suspect after con artists matching the same description duped more people in Vernon over the Easter weekend.
On Friday of the long weekend, a “Middle Eastern-looking” couple approached a mark at the Co-op gas bar, claiming they needed money for fuel and offering jewelry for sale.
That man was swindled out of $500, which he paid for rings and chains that were nothing more than cheap costume jewelry.
The man and woman were well dressed and had a child with them, in the back of a minivan.
“The scammer was dressed in a nice suit and said they had lost their ID and had no money and needed gas money to drive to family and get some help,” the man explained.
Chris Knight says “the same thing happened to me.”
But not before he got a picture of one of them last summer, after they took him for $800 in Lake Country.
“They were all dressed nice, they had kids in the vehicle,” said Knight, noting the descriptions were identical.
He says the couple sought $10,000 for a variety of necklaces, rings and pendants.
“I believed her … she came with me to the bank machine,” Knight recalls.
While it’s too late for him, Knight hopes the woman’s photo may prevent others from being taken.
Castanet readers report the couple perpetrating the same scam across the region over the last several years.
“Those same people were doing the same scam in Kelowna four years ago,” said one woman.
“East Indian man wearing a suit, needed to get gas money, had lost wallet, my boyfriend I think spent $120 dollars. I’m surprised they haven’t been caught yet.”
Others in Vernon were scammed last fall when a couple outside the Wholesale Club store approached a victim with a tale of woe.
The man was taken for $400 when the fake gold jewelry he purchased was only worth $20 to $50.
In all cases, the jewelry was stamped with 18-karat gold when it was really worthless junk.
Raven Traders said last year it sees similar cases almost every month, and many people are too embarrassed to go to police about it.
Vernon RCMP issued a public warning at that time, saying if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
“This scam is not unique to our area and is one that keeps popping up in communities across the province,” said North Okanagan RCMP spokesperson Const. Chris Terlesski.