Counterfeit gold is on the rise in Red Deer

Shoppers being charged up to $500 for fake gold

Nairn Boutrup, general manager of Jaxville Gold & Silver Trading Ltd. is trying to warn Red Deerians not to purchase gold off the streets after several people have come into the store having been sold counterfeit gold.

Earlier this month, she started having customers come in asking if the ‘gold’ they bought was real.

“It is all stamped 18-carat and it’s got the good heft that gold naturally has,” she said, adding that there’s a lot of copper, nickel and lead in there to add that heft.

At Jaxville, they buy and sell precious metals, buying gold and silver, mainly for scrap and send it off to the refinery where it gets refined and turned into pure gold and silver bullion product.

Boutrup said necklaces and rings were brought in, with one man being charged $500 for a five-piece set.

On the lower side of things, another counterfeit gold piece was sold to a person for $35.

“If you were to bring one of these rings in and it was real 18-carat gold it would be worth $450,” she said.

She added that generally people are being approached in parking lots and casinos where there’s cash.

She said she’s also heard a story that sellers are going door to door in mobile home neighbourhoods.

Even though it can be hard to tell if it’s real gold or not, Boutrup said a big red flag is the price these sellers are selling it for.

“If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.”

She added that if people are interested in purchasing gold, they should have it tested first.

“Because we’ve seen so much of it we can just look at it and tell if it’s fake.”

And it’s not just a scam that’s taking place in Red Deer, it’s happening all across the country.

Boutrup said people should report it to the RCMP.

“I think a lot of people are embarrassed. In the back of their minds they probably already know that it’s not real and that’s a lot of the reason that it doesn’t get reported to the RCMP.”

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