Police: Oregon teens used fake gold bars to scam people out of $ - KPTV - FOX 12

Police: Oregon teens used fake gold bars to scam people out of $50K

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Images of artificial gold bars released by Bend Police Department. Images of artificial gold bars released by Bend Police Department.
BEND, OR (KPTV) -

A pair of 17-year-old boys carried out a scheme using fake gold bars to scam people out of more than $50,000, according to police.

Investigators said the Bend teens bought artificial gold bars online that looked like the real deal. They then sold the bars as authentic to people in central Oregon, according to police.

Investigators described the suspects as "sophisticated" in using multiple ways to conceal their identities and scheme.

The teens identified people interested in buying gold through Craigslist and then set up meetings to make the transactions.

In all, police said there were four victims – men between the ages of 29 and 65 years old – who paid more than $50,000, as well as other goods, for the fake gold.

Bend police received the first report about the artificial gold bars on Feb. 24. Similar reports came in through this week identifying two teen suspects.

The teens were contacted by officers at their Bend homes on Tuesday and arrested on charges of aggravated theft by deception, theft by deception or false pretenses, felony computer crime and felony criminal conspiracy. One teen is also facing the charge of money laundering.

They were both booked into the Deschutes County Juvenile Department. Their names were not released.

Officers were able to recover some of the money used by the victims in the purchases.

Detectives are looking to contact anyone who purchased Royal Canadian Mint bars or Perth Mint bars from someone other than a dealer starting in July 2016. Tips can be made by calling police at 541-693-6911.

"Bend Police wants to warn citizens from buying precious metals and gems from unknown persons. If you want to purchase metals and gems we suggest contacting reputable dealers in the area. We also want citizens to be diligent regarding who they are communicating with online before setting up a meeting," according to a Bend Police Department statement.

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