Woman scams metal buyers out of thousands with fake silver bars
Police are looking for a woman who they say sold several hundred fake silver bars to local metal buyers under the guise that it was real silver.
According to police, a 40-year-old white woman came to the Traverse City area in late April and sold these metal bars to at least three different precious metal buyers in the area.
On April 27th, the woman walked into Bay West Antiques and sold 100 silver bars to store owners, Holly Dalley and her husband Pete. Real silvers bars are currently worth just over $24.00 each.
"She came in, she sat down, she had a couple of boxes," said Dalley. "She said there were 50 1-ounce bars in each box. I looked at the first one, I didn't take it out of it's plastic. I just saw that and said everything looked good. There wasn't anything that would have indicated that it was fake at all."
Police say the suspect was paid over $6,500 from three different local businesses and has now left the area.
"It's been in a couple different areas across the state between the east and west side of southern Michigan," said Detective Kevin Gay.
An investigation is ongoing and it is believed that the same woman has been responsible for similar incidents around the state. Police say there are dozens of victims.
Bay West Antiques immediately removed the fake silver bars from the displays as soon as they were told about the fraud and store owners tell 7&4 News that they did not sell any of them to their customers.
Investigators say they know who this woman is, but they are not releasing that information at this time. To help prevent other businesses from being scammed, police are describing the suspect as a white, heavier set female in her 40's with very dark and thick rimmed glasses, who frequently wears her hair in a ponytail.