Tony Mulder performs a gold acid test. (Aaron Hemens - Creston Valley Advance)

5 victims hit by fake gold scam in Creston as couple sells jewelry for gas money

Tony Mulder said he’s seen this scam before in the region

Tony Mulder is asking the Creston community to stay vigilant after five residents came into his jewelry store this week with gold-plated brass jewelry that was sold to them by scammers who said they were made of real gold.

“People of Creston are being scammed by scammers on the street. They’re being approached with a hard-luck story by a pregnant lady and a gentleman in a luxury vehicle, and they’re wearing bracelets, rings and necklaces,” said Mulder, who owns Tony Mulder Jewelry and Gifts.

“[Victims] purchase the item, they bring it into the jewelry store to get it double checked and we’re telling them that they’re brass — fake, gold-plated rings from the carnival.”

The general theme of the hard-luck stories from victims revolve around a suspect couple needing cash for gas in order to help them get to the hospital.

“They ask for gas money and say they’ll give you the ring off their finger,” said Mulder. “They pull off the bracelet or ring, ask for $1,500 and say ‘I paid a lot for it but I’m on my way to Vancouver for the wife’s surgery.’”

One victim, who requested anonymity, said that he was fixing his mother’s car at Creston Manor on Oct. 7 when he was approached by a couple in a silver Chevy who gave the same hospital story.

According to the victim, the male suspect was of east Indian descent and was in his 50s. He was wearing a golf hat, a white shirt and brown pants.

“He said he would sell me his gold ring for $20, but I gave him $10,” said the victim. “It had an 18K stamp inside, and I went to Mulder’s but he didn’t bother looking at it because he knew it was brass.”

Mulder said that one of the key indicators that the jewelry isn’t real gold is when the item has a large 18K stamp inside of it.

“In our industry, most of the stamps would be small. Then you have two things: the manufacturer’s name in Canada or a corporate logo, and then 10K or 14K,” he said. “They usually have their name and manufacturer’s stamp, never just 18K on there.”

Another method that Mulder uses to prove the jewelry’s validity is through an acid test.

“It’s about a 3,000-year-old test… Gold is impervious to acid. Nothing affects gold,” he said.

Creston has been hit by fake jewelry scammers in the past and Mulder said that he believes that it’s the same group of people committing the crimes now.

“The type of jewellery is identical, it’s always the same. They’re all stamped 18K, the chains and rings look the same — big heavy men’s rings,” he said.

READ MORE: Fake gold scam targets Creston’s Good Samaritans

If people want to buy gold, Mulder warned to buy it from a reputable source.

“Don’t buy it from some guy standing in the corner,” he said. “If you wish to buy something from someone to help them or whatever, get it verified to see if what you’re getting in collateral is the real deal.”

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