Diamond traders should be on the look out for phony Kimberley Process certificates connected to Internet scams, warned a May 9 advisory from the U.S. State Dept.
In one instance, individuals were invited to Sierra Leone to view rough diamonds that were later declared to be fake, the governmental agency said. Those stones carried a fake KP certificate numbered 004199, purportedly issued in either April or May of this year.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has also identified counterfeit Kimberley Process certificates from Guinea, Ghana, and Sierra Leone, generally used in conjunction with advance-fee Internet schemes, it added. Those schemes involve criminals approaching dealers via the Internet promising them diamonds with KP certificates if the dealers give them money up front.
Any dealer presented with a fake certificate should report it to U.S. Customs and Border Protection at firstname.lastname@example.org and to Department of State at USKimberleyProcess@state.gov, the advisory concludes.