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May 24, 2022

Police warn of scams in Gilroy

The two sellers claimed it was a bar of pure gold.
A Gilroy man, visiting Safeway on First Street Monday afternoon,
paid $900 for the 2-inch-by-1-inch piece of metal, according to
police.
GILROY –– The two sellers claimed it was a bar of pure gold.

A Gilroy man, visiting Safeway on First Street Monday afternoon, paid $900 for the 2-inch-by-1-inch piece of metal, according to police.

It was not, in fact, gold – just a piece of lead covered with gold paint, police said. The 49- or 50-year-old victim reported the incident to police at 4:11 p.m. Monday, alleging fraud. Scams are rampant in Gilroy, according to police Sgt. Noel Provost, from phony lottery tickets to, in this case, fake gold.

Gilroyans also fall prey to rip-offs from outside the area. On Saturday, a 59-year-old local man told police he had never received $5 million that a person in Vancouver, Canada promised him. The victim had sent in $19,800 over the previous week in exchange for the big payoff, he said.

People need to do all they can to protect themselves, Provost said, because by the time people report scams to police, it is usually too late to track down the perpetrators.

“People need to be cautious,” Provost said. “If it looks like a better-than-good deal, they need to be particularly cautious. You’re never going to get something for nothing.”

Peter Crowley covers crime and other public safety matters for The Dispatch. He can be reached at [email protected]

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