Barrie man arrested after fake gold bar scam

Barrie Police recently arrested and charged a 49-year-old Barrie man with fraud under $5,000 after an Orillia man paid $1,200 for a counterfeit gold bar in December.

According to police, the accused posted an ad on Orilliajiji, a Facebook group that serves as a marketplace, where he offered a one-ounce “gold bar” supposedly struck by the Royal Canadian Mint.

The buyer purchased the gold bar for $1,200 with the assumption the gold bar—in authentic-looking packaging—was genuine.

The following day, however, the buyer became suspicious of his purchase and had the bar tested, which verified the bar was counterfeit.

The victim attempted to contact the seller, and upon no avail, contacted police. Further investigation led police to identifying the accused, and on Jan. 11, the accused was located at his residence on Dunlop Street in Orillia and arrested.

The accused is scheduled to appear in a Barrie Court of Justice next month.

PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT

Police also offered the public some advice after investigators received complaints of counterfeit gold bars being sold online.

“At first glance the bars appear to be real and are professionally packed and are stamped with an official looking stamp resembling the Perth Mint or Royal Canadian Mint. Although after testing the bars have shown they are nothing more than copper plated gold,” reads the statement issued by police.

“The high-quality counterfeit bars are being offered in various weights and range in price from $300 to $1,200, but their actual worth is about $0.25 to $2.00.”

Authentic bars and coins can be purchased at financial institutions or the Royal Canadian Mint and are always accompanied with authentication. If purchasing online, be cautious—and if it’s too good to be true, then it’s very likely a scam.

Anyone with information about counterfeit items is asked to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or online at antifraudcentre.ca or the Barrie Police Service at 705-725-7025 (extension 2112). To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or online at tipsubmit.ca.

 

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