CRIME: All that glitters may not be gold

Gold_Fraud1RICHMOND RCMP are warning the public about a scheme where victims are being tricked into purchasing “priceless” ancient Chinese treasures. In reality, these “treasures,” are utterly worthless.

This scheme resurfaced in Richmond in late February. The last reported incident was back in 2010.

In at least two instances, the suspect posed as a Chinese foreign construction worker who claimed he had uncovered a treasure trove of artifacts at a construction site. These artifacts were said to be priceless gold ingots and gold figurines of Buddha. The suspect was willing to sell the trove to the victim at a substantial loss.

Police said it is important to keep in mind that the suspect may be using a variation of this scenario to deceive other victims.

The victims are all Asian women in their late 40s or older and are specifically fluent in Mandarin. They are typically employed in the field of traditional Chinese medicine (acupuncturist, herbalist, etc.). Some victims have been defrauded of tens of thousands of dollars.

The suspect is an Asian male in his 30s and is a fluent Mandarin speaker. He may be working alone or with a second Mandarin speaking Asian male, roughly the same age.

“It is unfortunate for us to have to reiterate, but if a deal sounds too good to be true, it most likely is,” said Constable Janice Xia of the Richmond RCMP.

If you have been a victim of this type of crime, contact Xia of the Richmond RCMP at 604-278-1212. To leave a tip on this crime, email or to remain anonymous, call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).