A Thunder Bay gold-buyer is warning consumers about counterfeit jewelry.

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Gold Exchange buyer Faye Wen has seen more than 20 cases of fake gold since August. (Nicole Ireland/CBC)

Faye Wen, a purchaser at the Gold Exchange, says over the last nine months between 20 and 30 people have come in to sell what they thought was gold.

But the goods turned out to be worthless.

"There are rings and there are chains. There's several different styles of rings… they're pretty heavy-link chains and they look very nice. They're very shiny, and they're marked 14 karat," said Wen. "It is intended to deceive."

Wen says, in most cases, people bought the jewelry in parking lots, either in Thunder Bay or in other communities in northwestern Ontario.

Based on what people are telling her, the sellers often have children with them and claim to be in dire straits. They try to convince people to buy the supposed gold out of compassion, said Wen.

In the first case she came across, back in August, the sellers claimed to need the money for gas.

Thunder Bay Police say they looked into a few reports before Christmas but couldn't lay any charges. They say consumers should be wary of what they're buying.

From a report by CBC's Nicole Ireland