The trouble with gold is that it’s too good to be true sometimes. From the old scam of passing off fools gold as authentic gold nuggets to more sophisticated scams, the old expression as good as gold can sometimes be no good at all. Just ask Ibrahim Fadl, a jeweler in Manhattan’s Diamond District. The jeweler bought $100,000 worth of gold ingots that turned out to be counterfeit. Apparently, making counterfeit gold bars is big business these days and the scam is popping up more and more.
The scheme is a very clever one. Gold bars are bought legally and through legitimate channels so it has serial numbers and authenticating documents, then the bars are hollowed out and the gold that was inside the bar is replaced with tungsden, which has the exact same density as gold. Then, the gold shells are closed up, and you have $100 dollars worth of gold that looks a whole lot more like $100,000 worth of gold. Upon inspection, the gold peeled off the tungsden like a foil wrapper.
Despite being out $100,000, Fadl is glad he uncovered the scam when he did: “It’s got to be somebody really, really professional. When I analyzed them, it showed they were tungsten.” When asked how he felt, he said, “Sick to my stomach, but thank God we didn’t sell this to somebody. People are selling their homes to buy gold, it’s a big issue.”
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