Authorities in the Inland Empire have issued a public warning after a Redlands man fell victim to a scam involving counterfeit gold bars, losing over $20,000 in the process.
The victim, who connected with the seller on Craigslist, met the individual in a back alley for two transactions totaling $21,000. Later discovering the purchased gold bars were fake, the deceived buyer prompted Redlands city officials to caution the public.
“We believe there may be other victims out there and that’s part of the reason why we are reaching out,” said Redlands city public information officer Carl Baker. “We would recommend if you are going to do something like this, that you would meet at a reputable dealer where you could have the product tested right then and there.”
Cesar Meyer, owner of Crown Gold Exchange in Redlands, emphasized simple tests like using a magnet and checking for weight imprints on the bars.
“If a deal is too good to be true it usually is,” Meyer warned, adding that being asked to do transactions in a back alley should also have been the biggest red flag.
Authorities are actively seeking the unidentified seller, known as “Randy,” who drove a green Honda Accord. Residents with information have been urged to contact the Redlands police as the investigation continues.
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