The Police would like to alert the public to a scam involving the sale of fake gold ingots that was reported to the police on 14 December 2019. The last time a similar scam modus operandi was reported to the police was in 2014.

On 13 December 2019, the scammers told the 83-year-old victim that they had discovered an old urn containing the gold ingots while excavating the grounds at a construction site. The scammers then brought the victim to a pawnshop to verify the authenticity of a small piece of gold ingot, and it was verified to be genuine. The scammers then offered to sell the gold ingots to the victim at below market value as they were departing Singapore and claimed that they would not be able to clear customs with the gold ingots. The victim paid the scammers $120,000 in cash in exchange for the purported gold ingots, without verifying their authenticity. The scammers subsequently became uncontactable and the gold ingots were found to be fake. Police investigations are ongoing.

The Police would like to advise members of the public to be wary of such scams. To avoid falling victim to such scam, members of public are advised to adopt the following crime prevention measures:

a. Always buy from established and authorised/reputable retailers. Be wary of offers that sound too good to be true;

b. Enlist a professional's assistance to verify the authenticity and value of any high value items you intend to purchase before making payment.

If you wish to provide any information related to such crimes, please call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit it online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. For urgent Police assistance, please dial '999'.

To seek scam-related advice, you may call the anti-scam helpline at 1800-722-6688 or go to www.scamalert.sg. Join the 'Let's Fight Scams' campaign at www.scamalert.sg/fight by signing up as an advocate to receive up-to-date messages and share them with your family and friends. Together, we can help stop scams and prevent our loved ones from becoming the next victim.

Source: Singapore Police Force