Gold scams rising in China as middle-class investors seek safe-haven assets amid weak stock market, property crisis

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Earlier this month, a Beijing-based franchise of a well-known gold brand was sued for fraud in a scheme that had allegedly cheated more than 70 investors out of over 60kg (132 pounds) of gold, the National Business Daily reported late last month. The case is ongoing.

Some victims claimed they had invested in gold bars priced at about 350 yuan per gram from 2016, with the store promising to buy back their purchases in the future.

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The retail price of gold jewellery in China has been as high as over 700 yuan (US$97).

But the store in central Beijing has closed, leaving victims unable to retrieve their gold bars.

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In other provinces, many victims have also complained to local authorities that the gold jewellery they bought, whether in person or via online stores, contained large amounts of silver and rhenium.

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