The majority of those working in the gold industry is ethical. However, a few rotten apples in the bunch tarnish the others with fraud. A gold IRA investor may meet one of two types of scams.
These include gold and precious metals con artists and self-directed IRA con artists. As an investor, you must know how scammers operate to protect yourself.
Everything You Need to Know About the Gold IRA Scams
The following are some of the most prevalent frauds:
The House of Shame
A brief Google search reveals that a well-known precious metals shop formerly employed high-pressure sales methods to promote their Gold IRAs. It was no fly-by-night operation, and you often heard them on the airways of various well-known right-wing radio personalities.
A client testified at a congressional hearing in 2010 about how a salesman persuaded him to change his IRA to a gold IRA and then use the $140,000 profits to acquire rare proof coins.
That is not acceptable:
You should only deposit bullion coins into a Gold IRA since you purchase the cash for their gold content, not their rarity. The corporation overcharged the unwitting consumer, resulting in a $60,000 loss overnight.
The corporation then resolved a lawsuit in 2012, refunding millions of dollars to previous consumers, and agreed to modify its sales tactics. It was obliged to divulge its price markups in recorded customer talks and repudiated the use of bait-and-switch methods.
We’re delighted it cleaned up its act, but we still won’t promote it to our readers.
The Inside Story of Gold IRA Scams
A Gold IRA must be self-directed, so you cannot rely on a neutral custodian to analyze your assets. To put it another way, you’re on your own. Your only defense is to choose a reputable gold dealer with a track record of favorable customer feedback from reputable review sites like TrustLink or the Business Consumer Alliance, as well as independent third-party websites.
Before you start a gold or silver IRA, watch this video to learn all you need to know. Other warning signs that you may be getting into trouble while setting up a Gold IRA include:
Be wary of the slick salesman who promises that the price of gold will only rise and pushes you to purchase immediately now or risk losing out on a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
Fake IRAs: Some con artists offer bogus Gold IRAs. They trick you into transferring your money, then take it. You discover that you don’t have any gold and that the merchant used a fictitious name. When you realize what occurred, the crooks have moved to another state to look for fresh victims with their gold IRA scams.
Nonexistent Purchases: You should ensure that your gold IRA custodian purchases gold on your behalf and deposits it at a reputable depository. The custodian should prove that you bought actual gold and holds it in an insured warehouse.
New Gold IRA: Some new Gold IRAs guarantee self-storage, allowing you to take physical possession of your IRA gold. It sounds beautiful, but the IRS has never formally recognized this approach, so it’s better to consult with an experienced tax attorney before going on this path.
Selling Collectable Coins: The IRS enables precious metal IRAs to purchase gold as a commodity rather than as a collectible. Don’t fall for sales efforts attempting to persuade you to buy “unique coins” since they do not belong in a Gold IRA.
Furthermore, unless you are a numismatic specialist, you are being overcharged for the item offered by this kind of dishonest seller. The open market for rare coins is exciting and enjoyable, and we don’t discourage you from participating after fully educating yourself. Remember that gold and silver IRAs intend for this purpose.
Shaved Coins: It may be difficult to believe, but some gold dealers shave a few grains of gold off each coin they offer you, and it adds up to the dealer’s profit and at your cost. Stick with well-known and verified shops rather than some fly-by-night idiot seeking fast cash.
Misleading Contracts: It may seem like a chore, but you must read all the tiny print before signing any contract, even one, to establish a Gold IRA. You may believe you are entering a typical arrangement, only to discover later that the agreement does not protect you or your money. Please get in touch with an experienced attorney if you have any doubts regarding the validity of the document you are about to sign.
Unsolicited Offers: If a salesperson contacts you out of the blue to attempt to get you to invest in a gold IRA, they are most likely not genuine. A reputable gold vendor would not cold-call you to generate interest, and a respectable gold dealer would react to your inquiry rather than soliciting business from strangers. Also, if you are an older widow, do not allow a gold salesperson to visit your home. They might be robbers seeking to rob you, or worse. You should be able to do legitimate business with a gold IRA custodian at arm’s length.
Examine It Out
When looking for a gold IRA provider, check for a third-party approval.
A respectable precious metals merchant, for example, with solid ratings from one or more of the following organizations, is unlikely to be engaged in any gold IRA scams:
- Business Consumer Alliance of the Better Business Bureau
- Fraud Report
It’s also comforting when a gold store has been operating for a long time. Some of the most reputable gold merchants have been family-owned and worked for 40 years. The company should have a physical location, not some enigmatic P.O. box.
Also, be aware of the current gold price and be wary of efforts to overcharge you for bullion coins. Don’t purchase coins from nations you’ve never heard of. When in doubt, stick to old-fashioned American Eagles and other U.S. Mint coins.
We often hear about gold fraud on the radio, television, and the news. And we’re not always clear whether it’s a fraud or not. This article has helped you understand a gold IRA scam and how to tell whether you are being duped.