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The real deal on diamonds; your online crush may be a robot: CBC’s Marketplace cheat sheet

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Hidden cameras reveal false claims some retailers make during diamond sales

Undercover Investigation Reveals False Claims Some Retailers Make While Selling Diamonds

Marketplace reveals misleading claims and inconsistent grading reports in the diamond industry.

A Marketplace journalist stumbled across a pitch full of false claims and inconsistent diamond grading reports while secretly shopping at some of Canada’s top jewelers.

According to Edahn Golan Diamond Research & Data Ltd., the average Canadian who bought a diamond ring last year spent just over $4,300. Visit three locations for each retailer.

Each store sold diamond rings backed by grading reports containing specifications for each of the so-called 4 Cs (cut, color, clarity and carat). Employees often touted these documents as impregnable, with very rare inconsistencies.

But instead, according to industry experts, there may be discrepancies between reports provided by various grading labs, which can significantly affect a diamond’s independent appraisal value.

“Each feature can make a difference of 20% to 30% to 40%,” said Steve Knight, an appraiser in Hamilton, Ontario who has been evaluating gemstones for more than 20 years. read more

Marketplace will air Fridays at 8:00 pm in Newfoundland at 8:30 pm with CBC TV. CBC Gem.

With COVID’s prolonged loss of support, patients are trying to fill gaps in care

A woman is sitting in the kitchen.
Denise Morneau has been dealing with long-term symptoms of COVID for nearly two years. (Katerina Georgieva/CBC)

It’s been two years since Denise Morneau discovered she had COVID-19, but she’s still waiting for some symptoms to subside.

She says she has not recovered her sense of smell or taste, has sporadic headaches with a feeling of pressure in her head, and sometimes has problems with balance.

Morneau regularly participated in Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare’s COVID recovery program. The program included consultations with occupational and physical therapists, and support her groups led by social her workers.

In July 2022, that program was discontinued due to lack of funding, Morneau said, leaving many people without a place to seek help.

“The government has somehow dropped all this, so we are stuck,” Morneau said.

Janice Dawson, vice president of restorative care and chief nursing officer at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, said the program has not received additional funding.

“We were in a situation where we couldn’t sustain the clinic the way it currently operates with our existing resources,” she said.

Morneau said that she and another support group member met once every two weeks at Tim Hortons, but attendance had dwindled since the recovery program was running, and the social worker leading the group had declined. I said no.

Dr. Kieran Quinn, a COVID expert and clinician, said the loss of the program speaks to problems across the healthcare system.

“The news that there is inequality in our system is more concerning,” he said. read more

Online Romance Scammers May Have a New Wingman — Artificial Intelligence

Stock image of a hand holding a smartphone with a heart on it, indicating a dating app.
(iStock/Getty Images)

Did You Find Love With Online Dating This Valentine’s Day?

Your caller’s voice may not be what you think it is. The person you’re texting her may actually be a bot, and the face in the photos and videos from your favorite dating app may not even exist.

Jeff Clune, an associate professor of computer science at the University of British Columbia, said technological advances in artificial intelligence could facilitate romance scams.

Scammers now “have a lot of tools in their toolbox to fool people, especially those who are unaware of recent technological advances,” Kroon said in an interview.

Such advances include voice simulators, face generators, and deepfakes (using existing images and videos to create fake yet believable video footage). Another advance is chatbots such as ChatGPT that generate human-like text responses on all kinds of online platforms.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Center reports a surge in romance scams as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive shift online. Fraudsters often involve persuading victims to establish relationships online to build trust and affection, he said. Scammers use their emotional power to solicit money, cryptocurrencies, gifts, or investments.

The center warns that Valentine’s Day offers an “opportunity for scammers to target Canadians seeking relationships”.The latest data available shows 1,928 reports of romance scams in 2021. , totaled losses of more than $64.5 million, up nearly 25% from the previous year. read more

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