In the last few years, we have seen an increasing number of investment scam victims who have been taken in by slick gold and mineral scams. While there are plenty of legitimate gold, mineral, and precious metal investments out there, investors should be careful not to let flashy advertising or celebrity endorsements cloud the decision-making process. While not every gold or precious metals investment is a scam, you should be skeptical if you spot these warning signs:
- The offer comes through unsolicited telephone calls, letters, and emails.
- You feel harassed or pressured to invest right away.
- You feel pressured to invest in an investment that differs from the gold product advertised.
- You are “guaranteed” a very high rate of return.
- You aren’t told about fees, storage costs, and commissions associated with the investment.
- The company is located overseas or does not provide a physical address.
As with any investment, it is important to spend time doing your research before you choose to put money into a gold investment—no matter how large, recognizable, or reputable the gold seller seems. As an example, precious metals dealer Goldline International—which widely advertised its gold bullion and coins on television and radio as a completely “safe” alternative—was involved in an investigation and settlement last year for its allegedly false and misleading statements to customers and alleged bait-and-switch advertising tactics.
What Investors Should Know About Gold & Mineral Investment Scams
Attracted to the idea of investing in metals? Here are some things you should know:
Many potentially risky gold investments are marketed by playing on your fears.
While not every gold or mineral investment is a scam, you should be suspicious of any promoter or promotional material that spends more time creating a sense of looming economic collapse than giving clear information about the details of the investment.
Some fraudulent investment schemes talk about investments in gold to build trust.
Most people think about gold as a safe and stable investment. However, there are many ways to invest in gold that are extremely risky, unregulated, or easy to fake. Some con artists rely on your belief in the safety of gold to sell you on a risky investment or outright scam, so be sure to always read the “fine print” and do some background research.
Some con artists lure you in with the excitement of discovery.
Especially in cases where the con artist is promoting an alleged gold mine discovery or stash of ancient gold coins, the idea is to get you so wrapped up in the excitement of a purportedly “once in a lifetime” opportunity that you skip checking out the facts.
Investments Promoted on Radio
"My elderly parents have become very interested in a gold investment they heard about on the radio, but I’m concerned it’s a scam. How can I talk to them about it?"
In the US, the elderly are a prime target for gold investment fraud, and it’s important to talk to your parents openly if you fear they may be falling for a scam. You know your parents better than we do, but we can suggest some approaches that have worked for others in the past.
Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Order a copy of our free book, Five Signs of Investment Fraud...And What to Do if it’s Happened to You, to share with your parents and open the discussion.
- Approach your parents with recent news about other gold scams.
Show your parents how to find and use online research tools
- For example, FINRA’s BrokerCheck and Investor Alerts, or the SEC’s EDGAR database.
- For more information about spotting the signs of gold investment fraud, read related FAQ.
If you have already become the victim of a gold investment scam, it may be possible to recover your investment losses. Reach out to an investment fraud lawyer with Meyer Wilson today to learn more about your rights and options. Just give us a call or fill out the confidential contact form.