In a shocking revelation that sent ripples through the gold trade industry, a crafty goldsmith was apprehended on November 6, 2023, for a sophisticated scam involving gold rings cunningly stuffed with silver. The accused, Mr. Sakda, 27 years old, found himself on the wrong side of the law after successfully duping gold shops multiple times.
The intricate scheme unfolded when victims reported to Pol. Col. Payap Somboon, superintendent of Bang Khun Thian Police Station, about the suspect selling a gold ring weighing 2 salung, purportedly genuine, to a gold department store on Kamnan Man Road, Bang Khun Thian Subdistrict, Chom Thong District, Bangkok. Little did they know that the alluring gold ring was, in fact, a carefully crafted decoy, filled with approximately 2 grams of silver.
The revelation came to light after an investigation by the police and the gold shop, triggered by the victims’ suspicions. Upon unwrapping the rings, it became evident that the accused had gone to great lengths to create a facade of authenticity. The silver-stuffed rings, complete with the stamp of a reputable gold shop, were sold multiple times, with the accused netting 15,000 baht in one such transaction.
The modus operandi involved Sakda, who, being a goldsmith supplying gold to various shops, exploited his position to deceive unsuspecting buyers. Pol. Col. Payap revealed that the accused had produced 20 rings, half of which were genuine gold, while the other ten were meticulously filled with silver and stamped with the mark of a legitimate gold shop.
The gravity of the situation escalated as it was discovered that the scam was not limited to a single location or gold shop. The accused had successfully executed the ploy in various places, raising concerns about the pervasiveness of this fraudulent practice within the industry.
Acknowledging the severity of the situation, Pol. Col. Payap issued a stern warning to gold shops, urging them to exercise caution and diligence in verifying the authenticity of purchased goods. The superintendent emphasized the need for stringent checks, including the validation of seals and the collection of seller information. Additionally, he recommended taking photographs of the seller’s ID card and thoroughly matching it with the individual presenting the item for sale.
The incident serves as a stark reminder for gold shops to remain vigilant and implement robust verification measures to thwart similar fraudulent activities. As the investigation continues, the case sheds light on the vulnerabilities within the gold trade and underscores the importance of stringent checks to maintain the integrity of the industry.
Here are essential tips for gold shops and potential gold investors to discern between genuine and fake gold:
- Weight and Density:
- Genuine gold is dense and heavy. Use a precise scale to measure the weight accurately.
- Hallmarks and Stamps:
- Authentic gold items often have hallmarks or stamps indicating purity and authenticity. Verify these marks against reputable standards.
- Magnet Test:
- Gold is not magnetic. Use a strong magnet to check if the gold item is attracted; genuine gold should not stick.
- Color and Luster:
- Real gold maintains a consistent color and luster. Be cautious if you notice any discoloration or dullness.
- Nitric Acid Test:
- Conduct a small test using nitric acid on an inconspicuous part of the gold. Genuine gold does not react, while fake gold may show discoloration.
- Professional Appraisal:
- Seek the expertise of a professional appraiser or use specialized equipment to analyze gold’s authenticity accurately.
- Sound Test:
- Gently tap the gold item. Real gold produces a distinct, bell-like ringing sound, while fake gold may create a dull noise.
- Buy from Reputable Sources:
- Gold shops and investors should only engage with reputable and established dealers to minimize the risk of encountering counterfeit items.
- Use a Gold Testing Kit:
- Invest in a reliable gold testing kit that includes solutions for various purity levels. Follow the instructions carefully for accurate results.
- Check Seller Information:
- Gold shops should verify the identity of sellers by collecting essential information, including photo identification, to aid in potential investigations.
- Consult with Other Professionals:
- Seek advice from other professionals in the industry and stay informed about prevalent scams to enhance your ability to identify fake gold.
Remember, a combination of these methods provides a more comprehensive approach to ensure the authenticity of gold. Staying vigilant and informed is key to safeguarding against fraudulent practices in the gold trade.