The consumer investor protection group Wall Street Watchdog issued an alert
on Friday that advised investors to watch out for Chinese counterfeit
precious metal scams and Chinese counterfeit gold and silver coin scams.
In the alert, the group warned investors to exercise extreme caution when
buying gold, silver, or other precious metals, particularly from China.
"We have one Chinese counterfeiter bragging about the fact that his
operation manufactures 100,000 fake US Silver Dollars each year. This
is just one guy," said the Wall Street Watchdog. And, you can bet
that "one guy" isn’t alone.
With the continuing volatility of the global stock markets, it’s
really no surprise that precious metals, gold, and silver investments
have become a multi-billion dollar industry. Investors want to put their
funds in safe products that carry the potential for
high returns. Gold and precious metals often seem to fit the bill. But, as regulators
and investor protection groups know all too well, increased popularity
brings increased opportunity for fraud.
"Do not do business with any precious metal dealer, or gold, or silver
coin retailer unless you can establish they are legitimate, and you can
confirm they have a written money back guarantee policy, for their customers,"
advised the group. "Chinese counterfeit precious metal coins, and
gold, or silver bars, are going to ruin many investors, and this is going
to get ugly. Do not become a victim."
The Wall Street Watchdog isn’t alone in its warning. In August, the
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued anews release warning investors against gold-related investment scams:
"Con artists are using the run-up in the price of gold as a hook to
part investors from their money," said Gerri Walsh, FINRA's Vice
President for Investor Education. "Investors should think twice before
investing in any gold investment promising exponential returns."