AUSTIN, TEXAS — During National Fraud Awareness Week (Aug. 6-12), The United States Gold Bureau is issuing seven tips to help investors find legitimate precious metals and trustworthy sellers so they don’t get duped by common scams.
More than 10,000 people in the U.S. have been victims of precious metal cons with losses around $300 million, according to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. Some of the top scams included buying gold that wasn’t real or didn’t exist.
“One of the most common questions our customers ask is how to know if the gold they buy is real,” says Joshua Hinsdale, communications director of the U.S. Gold Bureau, a precious metals education and investment firm, which is an authorized bulk purchaser with the U.S. Mint. “We want our customers to be informed so they do not end up with a safe full of gold-plated tungsten bars instead of pure gold,” he says, citing a common way he has seen unscrupulous dealers trick investors.
The U.S. Gold bureau has issued these seven tips:
Wait to commit — If a person is cold calling you for an immediate decision to buy a product, beware. A reputable salesperson from a legitimate company takes time to help you buy the best product.
Conduct an online search — Ensure the business has a website and genuine web presence. Some scammers change their business name to avoid bad online reviews.
Check the Better Business Bureau — Check to see if they are listed, length of time in business, ratings and reviews.
Do some basic research on price — Learn how much the gold you are buying is worth. For example: If you are buying gold bullion, check the gold spot price.
Research the specific coins that are being sold — Legitimate sellers often will give you the history of the coin you may buy, so look into its rarity and historical value.
Get your gold in hand — Some scammers promise shares of gold you cannot touch. Have your gold sent directly to you and place it in safe storage.
Ask for the seller’s buyback policy — To make sure you can cash in your investment, ask the seller how it is bought back. Legitimate gold dealers know each piece is valuable and will explain this process.
The United States Gold Bureau, based in Austin, Texas, has been in business since 2003. Since that time, it has experienced significant growth while charting a course of excellence within the precious metals industry.
CONTACT: For additional commentary, contact the United States Gold Bureau Communications Office at (512) 623-7797