'Their stories are bogus': Mounties make arrests in suspected gold fraud operation

Richmond police seized an assortment of fake gold they say was used in a "sophisticated gold fraud operation."

Two people were arrested and a stash of fake gold was seized following an investigation into a fraud operation, Richmond Mounties say.

Police said they were called earlier this month after a man and woman reportedly approached another man on Garden City Road near Westminster Highway. The pair allegedly tried to sell the man some gold for cash, but the man declined after he suspected it was fake. After the interaction, the man notified police.

Three days later, police arrested two suspects they believe to be part of a “sophisticated gold fraud operation.”

"We are very pleased to have made such significant progress on our investigation so quickly. Our investigation involved the co-operation and co-ordination of several specialized police units," said Cpl. Ian Henderson with Richmond RCMP in a news release Tuesday.

Police said charges haven't been approved, but more details will be released if they are.

Investigators warned gold fraud operations appear to be an issue across Canada and said people should be wary of anyone who approaches them on the street offering gold for cash.

In some operations, police said, fraudsters will target victims who "appear to be approachable." They may play with the victim's emotions and share stories like needing money to get home. They may even use children in their scheme.

"Their stories are bogus and so is their gold," Henderson said. "If you are approached, say 'no thank you,' get to a safe location, and call police."

Anyone with information on a similar incident should call Richmond RCMP at 604-278-1212. Tips can also be left anonymously with Crime Stoppers. 

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