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HEADS UP! Near-perfect counterfeit PAMP Suisse Bars Popping Up In Canada

Discussion in 'Purchasing Precious Metals' started by JayDubya, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. JayDubya

    JayDubya Gold Member Gold Chaser

    Apr 5, 2010
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    Near-perfect counterfeit gold shines light on ongoing crime


    By Jesse Robitaille

    A number of counterfeit PAMP bullion bars have been sold to dealers across Canada in the past several months

    After a spurt of counterfeit gold bars came on the market this fall, some dealers are calling for the Canadian Association of Numismatic Dealers (CAND) to implement a warning system for its members.

    Organized in 1975, CAND is a non-profit association of about 50 professional numismatists. This September, three of its members were duped into buying fake gold. Willard Burton, co-owner of Brampton’s B & W Coins and Tokens, said he and two other Ontario-based numismatic dealers were recently “tricked into buying counterfeit” bullion. “Here in Brampton, in the past three weeks, we’ve bought three gold pieces,” Burton said in September. “I brought them down and had them assayed by Guardian Gold, and they were all fake.”

    The supposedly Swiss-made gold – one coin and two one-ounce bars sealed in what appeared to be legitimate packaging – looked “perfect,” Burton said. “Their weight was perfect, but there was only three per cent gold in them. The rest was a mixture.” The gold was purchased by B & W Coins on Sept. 25, when a woman entered the store on 345 Queen St. W., in Brampton. “We have her name, address and a phone number on the bill, whether they are legitimate. We’ll give that information to the police,” said Burton, who added fellow co-owner Doug Graham thought the dubious gold seller looked “legitimate.” “Whether she bought it from someone else, who knows,” added Burton.


    Two other Ontario-based dealers – Ted’s Collectables in Paris, Ont., and N & K Coins in Brantford – also purchased counterfeit bars (one platinum and another gold) this fall. Ted Bailey, owner of Ted’s Collectables, said the platinum bar his business purchased was held in packaging appeared to be produced by PAMP (Produits Artistiques Métaux Précieux) in Switzerland. “I figured it was one,” said Bailey, who added the bar was sold by a young-looking man. “It says ‘Suisse’ right on the package, but it’s phoney.”

    Bailey said the counterfeit bar he purchased is mostly made of copper and weighs less than an ounce.

    “Lots have been sold, apparently,” added Bailey, about the recent spurt of counterfeit bullion. He said the culprits have yet to be caught.


    Another Canadian dealer, Sandy Campbell, said he hasn’t been involved in the ongoing police investigation regarding the counterfeit gold bars; however, he drew an interesting parallel to a recent diamond-swapping theft. “What is so interesting about this scam is during the same period we had jewel thieves crossing the country, switching diamonds with many jewellers,” said Campbell, who’s the owner of Proof Positive Coins in Baddeck, N.S.

    On Oct. 20, York Regional Police arrested an Ontario couple for stealing a $10,000 diamond from W. Smith and Co. Fine Jewellers in Saint John, N.B.; however, the couple was also suspected in similar cases in other jurisdictions. “The same two suspects appear to have been involved in a similar theft in Charlottetown and we also received information a similar theft had taken place at a jewellery store in Fredericton,” Saint John Police Sgt. Chuck Breen told CBC News in October.Grigori Zaharov, 70, and Natalia Feldman, 44, were taken into custody after a Canada-wide warrant for their arrest. They were caught only a week after police began their investigation; compare that with the people selling counterfeit bullion, who were able to cross the country with relative ease.

    “The bar crooks started in the east and made their way to the west coast in about a month, scamming in excess of $100,000 from the dealer community, reaching uninformed victims and giggling as they exited the storefronts,” said Campbell. “This also tells me associations such as CAND perhaps need to have a hard look at perhaps implementing a ‘Fake Alert’ to eliminate a continuance of crime against dealers.”
    Scorpio, andial, Ensoniq and 2 others like this.
  2. Mr Paradise

    Mr Paradise Midas Member Midas Member

    Dec 3, 2011
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    Lake Superior
    Don't ever buy anything in an assay card, you're asking for trouble if you do.
  3. Someone_else

    Someone_else Gold Member Gold Chaser

    Mar 31, 2010
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    Unless the "mixture" is tungsten, osmium, or iridium, the size will be wrong.
    If I am buying platinum, palladium, or rhodium from a reputable seller, I probably won't object to the card and packaging. But anything from Joe Blow is coming out of the plastic and carefully measured before money changes hands. The plastic and/or grading card goes in the trash. Where it belongs.
    goldielox1 likes this.

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