Fun on Friday is supposed to be, well, fun. But I also like to offer useful advice. So this week, I have a tip for you. If your boyfriend or girlfriend wants you to send them a bunch of money in order to help them sell gold, don’t do it. It’s a scam.
Seriously. Just don’t. Don’t send people you’ve never met money.
OK. I’m going to set up a scenario for you.
You’re in Hawaii. Yay! Right? Anyway, as you enjoy touring around the tropical paradise, you stop at a local gas station to fuel up the rental. As you’re pumping the gas, a guy saunters up covered in bling. He’s got gold chains, gold bracelets and several gold rings. Then comes the sob story. He’s down and out. He lost his wallet. He needs cash. But he’s willing to part with his expensive gold for a bargain basement price.
What do you do?
Usually, the government tries to stop scams. Unless, of course, the government is part of the scam.
No, I’m not talking about the Federal Reserve. I’m actually talking about a Liberian gold scam that US law enforcement uncovered last fall. As it turns out, Liberian government officials facilitated a key part of the scammer’s scheme.
Gold scammers are targeting Chinese-Americans, but similar techniques can be used to target and rip off other groups of people.
The scam has most recently been reported in Maryland. According to CBS Baltimore, the Montgomery County Police Department reports at least one victim lost $20,000 to gold scammers targeting people of Chinese descent.