Medicine Hat, Alberta – On April 27th, 2023, the Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) was notified of a potential fraud in-progress. The victim had been flagged down by two individuals who indicated that they were in distress and needed money to return to Ontario. The accused(s) sold the victim worthless gold in exchange for an undisclosed amount of money.
As part of the fraud, they advised that they wanted another large amount of money and were following the victim to a bank to obtain the remainder of the cash. The victim contacted police when he realized that he was being scammed. The offence is consistent with fraudulent activities that have been occurring across the country.
As a result of this investigation two males were arrested and charged with fraud. A 35-year-old male and a 45-year-old male are held in custody, awaiting the results of a Judicial Interim Release Hearing. The identity of the two males will not be released as the matters are still before the initial stages of court proceedings.
The MHPS is once again reminding residents to be aware of these fake gold/jewellery scams that can occur periodically in our community as fraudsters travel thru the area. While the scam can take many forms, most often victims are approached by persons who advise the that they are selling high value items, often gold or silver jewelry, that is supposedly valued tens of thousands of dollars and for a substantially reduced amount.
The victims of the fraud later learn that the items are worthless, but only after having lost a substantial amount of money. Sometimes during the conversation, while the victims are distracted, they are also pick-pocketed or targeted by the scam artists for theft from vehicles.
The most practical advice when presented with an opportunity is, that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
Anyone with information on similar activities are asked to report it by calling the non-emergency line 403-529-8481 or by submitting a tip via the MHPS website (mhps.ca) or mobile app. The MHPS app is free to download and available for both Apple and Android devices.
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