'You think you are doing a good deed': Sask. police warning about 'classic' fake gold scam

Police in the Battlefords and Saskatoon both said they’ve received complaints about people selling low quality or fake gold jewelry in parking lots. The common thread is a sob story meant to play on the victim’s emotions.

Scammers reported in Saskatoon, Battlefords

Fake gold jewelry is being passed off as real to unsuspecting buyers across Saskatchewan. There have been dozens of reports in Saskatoon and some in the Battlefords.

A person approaches with a plausible story about an emergency, a problem that could be fixed with a little cash. They offer to sell you some gold jewlery at what seems like a very cheap price.

Does this sound familiar? 

"This is a classic scam," said Sorin Mihailovici, the founder of a platform called Scam Detector.

I bet they will find a lot of victims.-  Sorin Mihailovici

It may be an old grift, but it is working in Sask. RCMP in the Battlefords and city police in Saskatoon both said they've received complaints about people selling low quality or fake gold jewlery in parking lots.

Too good to be true?

The common thread is a sob story meant to play on the victim's emotions.

"When they pitch this they know exactly what to say, they know how to say it," said Mihailovici. "You think you are doing a good deed."

One expert says thieves rely not only on the buyer's emotions, but also on that desire to own something valuable without paying the full price. (CBC)

Mihailovici said the scam works because of the combination of the victim feeling like they are helping out a person in need and wanting to get a good deal.

Police said there are at least three couples suspected in the Battlefords scams. They were last seen driving a car with Manitoba plates. In Saskatoon the couple hawking cheap imitation gold was driving a vehicle from Ontario.

The out-of-province plates surprised Mihailovici.

"They take all these provinces, city-by-city and town-by-town, smaller ones, and I bet they will find a lot of victims," he said.

with files from the Morning Edition