You may not be aware that the month of March is International Fraud Prevention Awareness month. There are all different types of fraud and scams one can be exposed to, sometimes on a daily basis, including emails, online websites, and even face-to-face transactions. Even the jewelry industry has its fair share of scams. Here at Serli & Siroan, we enjoy educating people about these scams, so they can protect themselves and ensure the jewelry pieces they acquire are authentic and real.
Finding great deals on low-priced gemstones that say they are certified.
To be clear, any gemstone can be certified, regardless of its colour, cut, carat weight, and clarity (4Cs). All the certification means is that a professional jeweler has examined the gemstone and certified it based upon the various ranking factors (4Cs).To illustrate this point, if you were to line up five rings that had the same gemstones and a similar design, but different cuts, clarities, carats, and colours, the first thing you would notice is they each look slightly different.
Online and television “shop-at-home” jewelry channels advertising “approximate” carat weights.
One of the more recent scams to hit the industry is this one. It is where the carat weight is approximated to make the deal sound much better than it truly is. For instance, the gemstone might be advertised as being “approximately 1 carat.” However, what you end up with is one that is only 0.90 carats, yet you paid for a 1 carat stone.
Responding to offers to purchase gemstones directly from distributors.
Most gemstone distributors have specific requirements in order to source gemstones and diamonds directly from them. In many cases, the email offer you received takes you to a fake website that looks like it is real, only to entice you to make a purchase. However, what typically occurs is the person loses their money, and even ends up having their bank account emptied if they used a debit card, or discovers their credit card has been maxed out.
Trade-in/Trade-up offers that make it appear you are getting a great deal on a new piece.
Trade-ins are often best left to your automobile, not jewelry and gemstones. A much better option, if you are tired of your current piece, is to have it professionally transformed into a brand new, custom piece.
Receiving an email saying you won a jewelry contest.
Unless you remember actually entering a contest to win jewelry, chances are it is a scam, especially if it states you must call a 1-900 toll line or pay a processing fee to claim your prize. In many cases, you will never receive your prize, but end up with an outrageous telephone bill or have to deal with fraudulent charges on your debit or credit card.
Of course, the best way to avoid fraudulent scams involving jewelry and gemstones is to always shop at reputable jewelry stores, like here at Serli & Siroan. For assistance in selecting pieces or further questions, please feel free to contact us at 416-944-3863.