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Scam Alert: Counterfeit Gold Bars


Eleven fakes are found in New York and reported to the FBI.

MTB's CEO, Raymond Nassim, said he suspected the counterfeiter must be a professionally trained jeweller. "The forger had to slice the original bar along the side, hollow out the gold, and insert the tungsten ingot, and then reseal and polish the bar," he told the New York Post. MTB reported the situation to the Secret Service, which deals with counterfeits.

After the first incident, a second Diamond District street merchant reported buying six fake gold bars, according to the Post.

In March, a 1-kilo fake gold bar was reported in the UK after being purchased by a scrap dealer. It, too, was tungsten-filled, although the manufacturer was a different Swiss company: Metalor Technologies -- an international gold refiner and bar manufacturer.

If an investor can live without the physical asset, safer bets might be funds, including PowerShares DB Gold Fund (NYSEARCA:DGL), Market Vectors TR Gold Miners (NYSEARCA:GDX), and RBS Gold Trendpilot ETN (NYSEARCA:TBAR).

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