Contact us
CALL US NOW 1-888-GOLD-160
(1-888-465-3160)

Two Teens Charged in Craigslist Gold Scam

  by    0   0

Two 17-year-old high school students allegedly raked in nearly $60,000 selling fake gold bars on Craigslist, underscoring the importance of buying gold and silver from a reputable dealer.

Police in Bend, OR, arrested Robert Yelas Jr. and Caleb Knight on March 21, after they caught on to the scam. Investigators called Yelas the mastermind behind the online criminal enterprise. Police say the teens bought fake gold bars from aliexpress.com, an online retailer owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. The counterfeit bars were packaged to look like they came from the Royal Canadian Mint and Perth Mint. According to the The Bulletin, Yelas netted as much as $22,000 in one sale. He reportedly used some of the money to buy cars, including a Mercedes and an F250 pickup.

According to court documents, Yelas said after connecting with potential customers through Craigslist, he arranged the sales via email and text message and usually sent Knight to complete the transactions in person.

The scheme unraveled when a coin dealer who got caught up in the scam noticed the dimensions of the gold bars seemed off. He ran an acid test and found the bars were fake. They were primarily made of nickel or copper, and contained only about $1 in gold.

Police charged the duo with aggravated first-degree theft by deception, first-degree theft by deception, felony computer crime, felony criminal conspiracy and money laundering. Yelas and Knight were initially charged as juveniles, but the Deschutes County district attorney said they may face adult charges.

This story underscores the risk of buying gold and silver from sites like Craigslist. They can be a playground for scammers, and you really have no idea what you’re getting. You may think you’re getting a great deal, saving money on shipping costs, and avoiding other fees, but you run a high risk of getting scammed. The fact that a couple of high school students could pull off such a scam proves the risk.

With so many new buyers in the marketplace, scams and bad deals are everywhere. A good rule of thumb: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid becoming a victim. Simply buy your precious metals from a trustworthy, reputable dealer.  Peter Schiff founded SchiffGold to provide investors with a safe option from a name you can trust.

To learn more about precious metals scams and how to avoid them download our free Classic Gold Scams report.

Get Peter Schiff’s latest gold market analysis – click here for a free subscription to his exclusive monthly Gold Videocast.
Interested in learning more about physical gold and silver?
Call 1-888-GOLD-160 and speak with a Precious Metals Specialist today!


Related Posts

Bizarro Taxes from Around the World

Governments will tax just about anything. Of course, we are all intimately familiar with income taxes, property taxes, and sales taxes. But these are just the tip of the iceberg. Governments around the world have come up with some amazingly creative ways to tax their citizens. Related

READ MORE →

London Bullion Market Association Launches Code of Conduct

The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) has launched a code of conduct to boost confidence in the $5 trillion London gold market. The code sets out standards and best practices expected from participants in the global over the counter (OTC) wholesale market for precious metals. It focuses on four primary areas: ethics, governance, compliance and […]

READ MORE →

Trump the Perfect Scapegoat for When the Fed Bubbles Pop

In his most recent Gold Videocast, Peter Schiff pointed out that Pres. Trump inherited an economic mess from Barack Obama. Even if he can manage to get his policies implemented in the midst of the political circus going on in D.C., it isn’t going to be enough to stop the downward economic spiral. Yes, having […]

READ MORE →

Arizona Governor Signs Bill to Repeal State Capital Gains Taxes on Gold and Silver

Good news for precious metals investors in Arizona. On Monday, Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill into law that eliminates states capital gains taxes on gold and silver specie. It tax repeal will not only benefit Arizonans who invest in gold and silver, it will also facilitate their use as currency and undermine the Federal […]

READ MORE →

Moody’s Drops China’s Credit Rating as Debt Piles Up

The US government isn’t the only one piling up debt. We’ve reported on the ticking debt bomb in the US. Apparently, the timer is ticking in China as well. This week, Moody’s downgraded the country’s credit rating from A1 to Aa3, and changed its outlook from stable to negative. It was the first downgrade of […]

READ MORE →

Comments are closed.