As buyers of used goods, we often come across scammers. We know what to look out for but we realized the general public doesn't! After seeing dozens of people taken advantage of by these common scams, we thought it would be a good idea to expose the scammers and how they take advantage of unsuspecting people.
There are hundreds of schemes people can do to trick you but some are more common than others. We're going to take these scams one by one in a series of blog posts entitled "Beware of Scammers". For our first post, we are focusing on fake gold jewelry.
What is the scam? How do they do it? Who does it? When? Well let's get into it!
It begins with a man, usually with kids or a wife in tow, approaching you in a store parking lot or at a gas station. He will say he needs money for groceries or gas and use the family to make you feel more sorry for them. He will then say he has gold he can trade, he's not asking for a handout!
The gold will be stamped, usually 18K, and it will look like it's real to anyone who is not familiar with buying and selling gold. He'll give you a "good deal" on the ring or chain and sometimes even imply you could sell it for a profit. The gold is fake. The stamp is fake. The piece of "jewelry" is worth nothing.
We've seen people get taken for anywhere between $50 and $4,000! There are many red flags that should make you think the deal is a very bad one. What are those flags? I'm glad you asked.
Red Flag #1: If the man needed money and has gold, he could simply sell the jewelry himself to a shop like us. Many times, this man has been within 10 miles of our shop and still using this fake story.
Red Flag #2: The gold is typically stamped 18K. 18K jewelry is not nearly as common as 10K or 14K in the USA. This means it would be out of the ordinary for someone to have a thick piece of 18K jewelry
Red Flag #3: The man is offering to sell the gold to you for much less than the gold is actually worth (if it were real). When a deal seems too good to be true, it is.
Without knowing these three red flags, it is very easy to fall for this scam. Pawn Pro has the ability to test gold to ensure it is real and that is why we are confident making a gold purchase.
If you are not buying from a business with a reputation, we always recommend testing your gold before purchasing. The real solution to this problem is to only purchase gold from reputable shops such as ours to ensure you're getting real gold (or I guess you could study up on gold testing by checking out another one of our blog posts here)!