Fake Gold Jewelry Scam busted in Abu Dhabi

Jewerly on someone's hand Photo by zakaz - yayimages.com

In the previous week, nearly 27 kilograms of counterfeit gold jewelry was seized from more than two dozen jewelry showrooms in the capital of the UAE. Out of all the showrooms, 11 are owned by a single person. These jewelry shops are selling fake gold jewelry designs with their styles plagiarized from famous brands.

According to the Director of Criminal Investigation Directorate of Abu Dhabi police, these fake jewelry items were seized during a field inspection campaign. Most of this counterfeit gold jewelry was hidden in secret closets and wooden shelves in the showrooms. Law-enforcement agencies haven’t disclosed further details about the confiscated jewelry, but local gold traders who know the details of this seizure told news agencies that the confiscated jewelry was labeled as 18-carat gold which makes its current market value worth Dh4.3 million ($1,170,768.95 US).

Laser Inscribing is used to Make Fake Trademarks

To make unauthorized duplicates of original and branded jewelry designs, laser inscribing has been used for a long time. Local traders in the UAE are causing a loss of millions for many international jewelry brands by practicing this fraudulent technique. According to an expat jeweler based in Abu Dhabi, a copy of an original design of any branded jewelry item is sold with 70% less price. Many renowned brands such as Cartier, Gucci, Bvlgari and Montblanc frequently introduce their jewelry ranges in the UAE which then gets plagiarized by local jewelers.

CNC machines are used to duplicate the creative designs from original jewelry items. Most showrooms that offer fake jewelry don’t even keep the original branded designs.

Country’s Law regarding this Design Plagiarism

According to the trade rules of the country, it is not allowed to duplicate designs of international brands for local jewelry. However, local jewelers are openly disregarding the rules. The practice of making plagiarized jewelry designs has been going for a long time in major cities of the UAE.

This clearly shows the lack of aptitude and indifference of law-enforcement departments in the UAE who can’t implement a simple law. Jewelers who get caught with fake jewelry designs are subjected to very lenient fines, therefore they don’t pay much heed to them and do not cease their operations. Just a few months before these raids, the police had warned gold traders and jewelers to remove all those fake items from their establishments.

Authorities moved out of their hibernation when a formal complaint was filed from a reputed international commercial agent. The complaint revealed commercial frauds in the gold market of the UAE. As of now, the case has been forwarded to public prosecution for the next course of legal action.

There are certain ways through which you can identify fake jewelry designs to avoid spending money on counterfeit designs.

Determine its Quality

There is a huge difference between the price of original and fake jewelry designs. Large discounts of fake designs come at the cost of quality. There are certain characteristics that can help you to differentiate between the two.

  • Fake jewelry items feel light as compared to the original designs. Since fraud jewelers dealing in fake jewelry items want to increase their profits, they try to use lighter materials. If you are offered prices that are quite low, don’t rush into buying those jewelry items.

  • It might be miss-proportioned. For instance, the chain might be tiny as compared to the pendant or the trademark engraving on the jewelry may not look balanced. Also, check for misspellings since many times fraudsters deliberately change spellings of reputable brands with very slight differences.

Check for Fake Packaging

Many fake jewelry traders use the same authentic packaging as the original to con people. Remember, no matter how expensive the packaging is, it can’t be more expensive than the price for which they are going to con you.

Fake jewelry dealers in the UAE are badly affecting the market of international jewelry brands in the region. The government of UAE promises endearing incentives and benefits to burgeoning businesses, but once they start their operations, they are left at the mercy of fraudsters and scammers.