If you only knew how common Gold IRA Scams really are I got a feeling that you might would have been very surprised. It is a dirty business many times, the gold business, in general, is, of course, as it deals with a high-value asset, filled with scams. This short article is going to help you avoid any and all of the scams out there!
3 IMPORTANT things to Understand (& see through)
Before we get started with the main article I just want to lift two very important things to keep in mind before you dive into the gold ira industry, as it is many times a very dirty business. Below are two very important things to always keep in mind:
1: Commissioned Salespeople
First thing you need to know when it comes to gold IRA companies is that their salespeople are commissioned, so that is the reason why they many times they can use fear tactics and are being pushy (ALWAYS avoid those companies) to try and stress you into a sale. There is only ONE company, atleast that I know of that have a No-commission salesfloor and that is the company that is nr 1 for me in 2022.
Before I tell you what company that is you might want to read the second very important thing to understand about this industry:
2: High ratings with ZERO reviews
This phenomena really shows how dirty the industry can be, because more often than you might think you can run across companies having A+ and 5 star ratings on the BBB and Trustlink sites. All good, right? Well, the problem is that the particular company got ZERO reviews from people who have actually been a customer on the company… So, yes, I still think it is important for a company to have good ratings on those site but ONLY if there is actually reviews to be found there aswell… If not… Well, I think you are clever enought to figure out what´s going on, right?
The (by far) most important independent 3rd-party consumer protection agency you should put weight on is Trustpilot. The reason for that is because only people who have actually been customers can leave their reviews and ratings there.
This is another reason to why I recommend one particular company over any other.
Let´s look at a third reason:
3: The Celebrity Spokeperson Trick
You might have seen that a lot of Gold IRA companies use celebrities as the “face for their company”. The reason for this is 9 out of 10 times that the celebrities have been paid to do it. Many of them also got products with the company, which creates conflict of interest. This is another big reason why my #1 recommended gold IRA company is my top contender.
As basically all of them use a celebrity as the face for their company it becomes a bit tricky to figure out who does it only for the money or who is actually honest and sincere. So, let me ask you, would you rather trust an actor, a beautiful face, or someone that actually is knowledgable in finance? Yes, you are of course right, the financial person is probably more sincere. Then again, what kind of financial person is it? Have you seen his work? Have you heard what kind of views he (or she) have on things? If that person is someone that you consider to be intelligent and also got the heart at the right place, and is a trustful person, then you might have found the rare 1 out of 10 celebrity that actually is recommending a particular company with the right reason.
That is also another strong reason why the #1 recommended company in my humble opinion might be worth your attention. There is also a bunch of other reasons why they are my pick, you are a smart person, so you will understand yourself when you have seen their strong points:
Ok, with that being said, let´s continue with the post on how to avoid gold IRA scams!
Many people have the assumption that investing in gold is a safe way to protect their value from inflation and other instabilities in the economic and political landscape.
Yes, there is plenty of benefits of making your investment in gold, and the main one is the stability of the price. The price of gold is one of the most stable in the investment world and rarely fluctuates or destabilizes without warning.
For this reason, gold is considered to be one of the best investments that you can make. It is also quite simple to sell gold in the market since there are always plenty of buyers looking for gold to purchase.
This way, you can always sell the gold that you have, and when it comes time to buy, you will be able to easily make your purchase by investing in gold bullion, gold bars, and gold coins from trusted dealers.
However, the market has not always been clean and straightforward, as several gold investment scams have taken place in the past. These scams present a risk to anyone looking to invest in gold since the person investing might lose all their assets whenever they invest in the precious commodity.
If you are the kind of person that believes in investments that have no risks but offer high returns, then gold is not the option for you. If you are not careful, you will quickly get tricked into investment scams, and you are likely to fall into a gold investment scam.
For this reason, you must stay aware of the existence of Gold IRA scams and the fact that anyone can fall for them. It is not always the gold investment that is a scam in itself.
The offers you get might cause fraud if they come from unsolicited letters, emails, and phone calls. Someone who is pressuring you into investing immediately and following up after a week asking you whether you can invest is most likely a scam.
Stay aware of the pressure to invest immediately, and in case they are offering you high returns immediately, or as a guarantee, you should stay away from these kinds of people. It would be in your best interest to avoid investing in a not-established company that does not even have a physical address.
Before you make any investment into gold, you must do your research and ask around about fees, storage costs, and any other commissions associated with the investment. Even if this post mainly touces the Gold IRA subject it still provide advice for gold investing in general.
Mostly, scammers will offer you unusually high returns as a means of baiting you into their evil plan, but you will lose all your money in the process. Senior citizens might be the apparent victim of a gold investment scam, but you can also fall for them.
There are many instances of such false investments where the victim does not even see the gold they are supposed to own when they make their investment. The scammers solicit their funds and make away without proving the investment or the gold.
As such, the victim will have lost all their money, and they will not have seen the gold they promised. Beware of such scams since they can bring you significant loss, and there is hardly anything that you will be able to do once you have fallen for the scam.
The Ways in Which You May Be Scammed:
1. Fake Gold Coins/Bullion Scam
Fake gold is one of the common scams in the real world. In such a scam, the buyer will be given something that appears almost like the real thing, and as such, they will not be able to recognize that it is fake. It only takes a keen inspection of the structure and material of the gold to see that it is not gold but several different metals that have been melted together.
Some metals are almost similar to gold in their physical structure, and when these are used together with a light coating of gold, they give the impression that you are holding on to solid gold. However, this is entirely false, and you are simply holding cheap metals that have been melted into a bar and coated with just a bit of real gold.
2. Fake Documentation
Thanks to the significant advancements that have taken place in technology, it is much easier to manipulate documents these days. These people can easily modify the dates and the descriptions on these documents and forge the signatures using Photoshop.
As such, the MS-70 that they will be provided will give you the impression that you are investing in mint state coins, but in the real sense, you are getting gold in a much poorer condition.
The scammer will use the faked documents to sell you lesser value gold with the pretense that you are getting certified gold, and as such, they will be able to make a profit by adjusting the value of the gold they are selling to you upwards.
3. Too Good to be True
Some companies provide offers that promise you incredibly high guarantees, while some other recommendations are too good to be true. Some sellers will even be willing to sell you gold below the standard price in their offers, but this should be an immediate sign that something is wrong.
Whenever you buy gold from any company, be on the watch-out for the offers that are too good to be true. These are usually laced with a load of scams, and you will simply be losing your own valuable money, thinking that you are getting the offer of a lifetime.
The cons are usually made very attractive and have incentives that will be almost too good even to believe. However, they are just scams with the bait intended to pull you in faster than your eyes can believe.
Do not let the wool be pulled over your eyes when you search for gold to buy. Before investing, consider the offer you have been given and whether it is realistic or simply a bait to take away all your money.
4. Non-existent Coins
There is a special glass of gold coin scammers that have advanced to the extent that they will sell you coins that do not even exist. It is essential to take a look at and even examine what you are purchasing or making an investment into.
Some scammers will claim that it is a risky move for you to keep physical gold at home and point out the dangers involved. However, they are the actual danger themselves and might not even have the gold coins in the first place.
For this reason, you must have a look and feel of the coins before you invest in gold. This will ensure that you have touched them and have the physical coins as opposed to a promise of keeping them safe for you.
5. Rare Coins
Some gold scammers will even try to sell you rare gold coins that are known to be more expensive than ordinary gold coins.
You must always purchase pure gold coins instead of rare coins as you invest. The rare coins are a non-existent reality and simply a way of getting your money without giving you any value.
You should stay away from such illusions of real value for your money that comes in the form of rare gold coins. The scammers will instead give you ordinary gold coins but charge you several times their actual value under the guise of getting rare coins.
6. High Delivery Costs
Even when buying gold online, it is easy to fall into a scam. Some websites claim to sell gold at meager prices, but you should never believe what you read on these websites.
Even though the gold offered is cheap, you will still be charged unreasonably high amounts for the delivery. This means that the shipping charges for the gold will be several times the actual value of the gold that you are purchasing.
For this reason, it is essential to be very careful whenever you are buying gold from the internet. Be keen on the delivery charges to ensure they are not getting all their money on shipping at exorbitant costs.
7. Non-Existent Companies
Some scammers will ask you to invest in really cheap gold at some non-existent company. The fraudulent company will agree to take your money but not give you anything in return. They will not even send papers to be signed, which indicates that they are gone with your money.
8. Bait and Switch Scam
Gold IRA scams are, unfortunately, an all too common experience for people hoping to benefit from the stability of gold investments. One of these scams is the bait and switch scam, which entails luring investors in with promises of investments that may sound too good to be true. In this scenario, the scammer will make bold claims about the profits a potential investor can expect but then suggest different terms later on when it’s time to close the deal. This can lead investors to be taken advantage of financially by offering little or no recourse when losses occur. Any potential investor must do their due diligence and be aware of any suspicious activity to protect themselves from falling victim to this type of scam.
9. Fabricated Grading
Taking your hard-earned retirement funds out of the stock market and investing in gold is a smart choice for many people. Unfortunately, it can also be inviting to scammers. In some cases, fraudulent golden coins have been sold as IRA investments. These fabricated gold coins are usually made from inexpensive metals, such as brass or tin, covered with a thin layer of gold plating or paint to fool unsuspecting buyers. Buyers may think they’re getting a good deal on their IRA investment when they’re being scammed. You must verify the authenticity of the coins before you invest. If you need to know if your coins are genuine, it is best to consult an industry expert who can assist you in evaluating and correctly pricing your product. Investing wisely will help protect your retirement funds from predatory scams.
10. Damaged Coins, Rounds, and Bars
When investing in gold, it’s essential to take precautions against potential scammers and unsavory characters out there looking to take advantage of innocent investors. Perhaps the most common way one may get gold IRA scammed is by employing damaged coins, rounds, or bars. Suppose a seller isn’t reputable enough to ensure the integrity of their products. In that case, you’ll end up with coins that have been cleaned or scraped–and therefore significantly devalued–or with less than the volume of product promised. Though buying gold can be intimidating at first due to all the potential pitfalls, don’t worry; as long you research your deals thoroughly and reputably source quality items to invest in, such scams should become infinitely more avoidable.
11. Self-directed IRA scams
Self-directed IRA scams have become all too common in the world of gold IRAs. Unfortunately, these scams come in several forms that can be difficult to detect and protect oneself against.
One form of self-directed IRA scam is through false endorsement claims. This occurs when investors are promised guaranteed returns on their investment with specific gold or silver products that may not be true or exist.
Another similar form of self-directed IRA scam is Ponzi schemes, where individuals invest their money into a fraudulent investment plan. This is due to misinformation about the product and its return rates, only for the investor to realize afterward that what they purchased does not exist or is a far less quality product than promised.
The third form of self-directed IRA scam to watch out for is unsuitable rollovers. When you’re considering rolling over your current IRA into a gold one, be sure to ask the right questions and understand the risks and rewards associated with protecting yourself from those who may be taking advantage of you by charging high fees or transaction costs.
Before making such a decision that could cost you thousands of dollars, you must understand what it is you are investing in and do your due diligence when selecting an IRA custodian. If something seems too good to be true, then it likely is! You should feel confident and secure in your investment decision before taking any bold steps with your IRA savings; otherwise, you risk losing all of what you have worked for.
12. Selling IRA-Unqualified Gold
Are you thinking of investing your retirement funds in gold? Investing in gold may be an excellent choice for diversifying your portfolio and protecting it from economic downturns, but beware – not all gold investments are equal! The last thing you want is to get scammed by a fraudster looking to take advantage of unsuspecting investors. Some unscrupulous operators might scam their clients by selling IRA-unqualified gold. This can include jewelry, collectible coins, or other items that the IRS prevents buyers from putting into an IRA account without incurring heavy taxation penalties. To stay one step ahead of scammers, be sure to purchase only approved types of coins like Gold Eagles and Buffaloes through reputable dealers!
13. Home Storage Gold IRA
Investing in a gold IRA should be a fun and stress-free experience. However, it’s essential to know the signs of a potential Gold IRA scam to protect your hard-earned money. One type of scam to watch out for is a Home Storage Gold IRA. In this type of fraud, unscrupulous sellers may promise that they will set up an account in your name with an approved storage facility and send your physical metals, but instead keep the metal for themselves and cash out your account without your consent. Always research any seller thoroughly before investing, and double-check the information they give you. Be sure to ask questions about the delivery of the gold funds, any commission fees involved in the transaction, and any other information related to home storage options for your IRA investments. By being cautious now, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you are making a secure investment into your retirement plans!
14. Selling Collectable Coins
Gold IRAs are a great way to ensure your retirement savings stay safe, but unfortunately, some take advantage of investors by scamming them with shady investing tactics. One such method is through selling collectible coins. When someone offers to buy your coins for an amount that may sound too good to be true, it might be – because the coin was likely overgraded and has been marked up in price when the scammer is reselling it. Additionally, pricey authentication fees or expensive storage fees may have been added on top without you knowing. To ensure you don’t get scammed, double-check the seller’s reputation and do your own research about pricing for similar coins before making any transactions.
Be wary of buying collectible coins to invest in a gold IRA. In many cases, investors are being scammed into purchasing collectible coins with fraudulent claims about their rarity and value. Many collectible coins have no actual resale value, or the value proposed by the seller is exaggerated. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for someone to be sold fake gold coins or even counterfeits of popular gold coins. The truth is that they are far more expensive than regular gold bullion, and their complexity makes them easier to counterfeit or manipulate. Therefore, it is crucial to stay informed and research companies that promote buying collectible coins to invest in gold IRAs before making any decisions.
How You Avoid Gold Scams:
1. Understand what you are buying
Since you are investing, you must have all the information about the gold you are buying. Ask as much as you can about the price and the gold that you are about to buy. Also, inquire about the design of the gold coins and do a ping test to determine the purity of the gold.
Fake gold is magnetic, but real gold is not. A magnetic test will establish the true nature of what you are getting, and as such, you will easily spot the fake gold.
2. Ask for Speedy Delivery
It is uncomfortable whenever companies hold on to your gold and take their sweet time delivering it. Gold should be sold instantly and not hogged over for ages.
3. Only deal with dealers you can trust
Not all the dealers in the market can be trusted. Only go for the dealers with a good reputation and look at the independent 3rd party consumer protection websites and agencies such as the BBB (Better Busines Bureau), and (more importantly) Trustpilot before making your purchase.
4. Avoid Unrealistic Offers
Do not trust them when someone wants to sell you gold below the market price. There is no possible explanation for someone in their right mind to sell you gold at a lower price. They might be trying to pull a fraud on you.
5. Do not Accept Partial Deliveries
Partial deliveries are common gold scams, and they usually deliver only half the shipment of gold or fake gold.
6. Avoid Gold with Unnecessary Designs
Necessary designs on the gold bars are usually meant to prevent you from checking the quality of the metal. Do not be fooled by the many beautiful designs on the gold since they are merely a painful scam intended to take away all your money.
7. Payment Methods
A legitimate gold dealer should accept several forms of payment, while a scammer will insist on a specific payment method.
It is always a good idea to invest in gold when you are looking to hedge against inflation and diversify your portfolio. You must always purchase your gold from trusted dealers since it is easy to be scammed. Also, do your research before buying any gold to avoid gold IRA scams. Be careful and always buy the genuine gold and is offered by dealers that you can trust.
8. Legitimate precious metals dealer with good ratings
It can scare any investor to consider that gold scammers may be waiting behind every corner; however, there are a few reliable sources to research potential gold buyers. Beware of unrealistic price quotes, and wait to commit until you have checked out their ratings on TrustLink, Ethics.Net, Better Business Bureau, Business Consumer Alliance, TrustPilot, or RipOff Report. All the reviews are unbiased and will give you a fair idea of the dealings these dealers have had with customers in the past. If possible, please visit local and well-known vendors with a good market reputation. These savvy steps can help you safely travel the golden path so your investment will pay off without any heartache later.
But, What if You Become a Victim?
If, unfortunately, you find yourself a victim of a scam, then the best policy is not to despair but to actively research and advocate for redress from both state and federal authorities. Educate yourself further on laws protecting consumers and ensure you understand your rights when it comes to investing. Lastly, always speak up, and don’t let false promises drive a scam artist away with your hard–earned money!
If you have already fallen victim to such a scam, you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission and utilize their FTC Complaint Assistant portal and other authorities mentioned below. Reporting predatory practices to local industry regulators is an effective measure that could prevent another person from suffering. Moreover, maintaining these records of your experience provides broader disclosure against future gold scam endeavors.
9509 Key West Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850-3329
Phone: (301) 590-6500 – for all investors
Toll-Free: (844) 57-HELPS / (844) 574-3577 – FINRA Securities Helpline for Senior InvestorsTM
Office of Investor Education and Advocacy
100 F Street, NE
Washington, DC 20549-5631
Find contact information for your state-specific securities regulator.
Final words (and recommendation)
In short, gold IRA scams are not unusual at all and neither is gold scams in general. Make sure to ALWAYS do your own research and also to compare different companies against eachother before you make any decisions. The goal is to secure your retirement, not to give away half of it to con artists dressed in sheep clothing.
You are a smart person, and I am absolutely sure that you, as long as you follow the directions given above, will find the right company to do business with.
A good place to start might be to have a look at the absolute best rated alternatives out there:
Also read: How to Avoid Cryptocurrency Scams
I hope you found this short article on how to avoid Gold IRA Scams to be helpful and that you now are equiped with the knowledge necessary to fight off any gold fraud coming in your way. Please share your own experience and if you got other tips on how to avoid them in the comment section below, as it can help others make better decisions. Also, if you got any questions about this I would be more than happy to answer them below!
I wish you all the best!
Michael, founder of Gold Retired