In the last few years, many investors have become interested in the long-term investment potential of physical products, such as gold, silver, and other precious metals or coins. Unfortunately, some con artists and unscrupulous sellers and promoters are using this growing interest in precious metals to prey on unwary investors. One of the most popular ways con artists accomplish gold investment fraud is through what’s called a “bait-and-switch” scam, and investors should understand how this classic scam works and how to spot the warning signs.
How a Bait-and Switch Scam Works
A bait-and-switch investment scam usually involves “baiting” investors with advertisements promoting a too-good-to-be-true investment product, and later “switching” the deal when investors are ready to buy. The switch may happen during the pitch, pressuring investors to instead invest in a different product; or, the investor may be unaware the switch has happened, instead receiving a product that is different from the investment product advertised.
Recent Example of Alleged Bait-and-Switch Gold Fraud
Last year, Goldline International settled charges of using bait-and-switch tactics in its gold investment sales. According to those allegations, the company used its huge gold bullion advertising campaign to lure investors and later mislead them into an investment in gold coins. Some customers complained the gold seller pressured them into the alternate investment during the pitch; other customers complained the investment was switched from bullion to coins without their knowledge. Although the company denied wrongdoing, the settlement resulted in new requirements for how the company conducts its business and a $4.5 million payout.
How to Get Help if You’ve Become a Victim of a Gold Investment Scam
If you believe you have become a victim of gold investment fraud, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. The experienced lawyers with Meyer Wilson would be happy to meet with you in a free and confidential consultation to talk about your case and your options for loss recovery. Give us a call today or simply fill out the quick contact form on this page for more information.