With gold prices soaring to new heights, people are lining up to sell off their old gold at jewellery shops. But Britain is witnessing a strange phenomenon with jewellery shops fleecing many customers.

Following several complaints of cheating by jewelers, the British government has issued warning to customers that they should beware of unscrupulous buyers.

The advice came after officials carried out tests on gold merchants, including jewellers, pawnbrokers and online postal purchasers.

The officials found large variations in prices offered for scrap gold. Trading standards officers said sellers should shop around if they are considering selling their gold.

In one case, a gold necklace valued at between £270 and £300 received offers as low as £69. The top offer was £260.

While people expect gold traders to be making some profit when buying gold, certain unscrupulous individuals and companies are obviously capitalising on the demand for gold and offering way below the market value.

These companies often use glitzy advertising campaigns to target vulnerable people needing money quickly.

Sellers are also being advised to check on the quality of their gold by looking at the hallmark.