As I returned from two weeks off, I noticed that the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation (ACEF) warned about Chinese counterfeits using the example of a gentleman in Texas who was scammed by buying counterfeits.
According to the report, “Oliver” paid $1,000 for counterfeit coins. As part of the order, Oliver paid $499 for an American Gold Eagle that the U.S. Mint sold for $1,950. He paid $499 for 50 alleged American Silver Eagles that would have been worth $40 each and received fakes.
If Oliver had done a little due diligence, he would not have been scammed out of $1,000. Sure, he will work with his credit card company to recover his money, but that may be $1,000 that the credit card company has to absorb. The credit card company will try to recover the money from the scammer, but the process will cost money.
Remember, credit card companies do not absorb these losses. They will raise service charges and interest rates to compensate for the losses. Oliver might be made whole, but we will all pay for his lapse of judgment.
Before you purchase these alleged “good deals,” please remember my rules:
- NO LEGITIMATE DEALER IS SELLING BULLION COINS FOR BELOW THE SPOT PRICE!
- IF THE DEAL IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT LIKELY IS NOT A GOOD DEAL!
- IF THE DEALER DOES NOT IDENTIFY THEMSELVES ON THEIR WEBSITE, THEY ARE LIKELY HIDING SOMETHING!
Check the “About” or “Contact” page. If there is no address, then they are hiding. If the address is in China or the Middle East, they will sell you counterfeit merchandise. If there is an address, go to Google Maps and see what is really at the address.
- IF THERE ARE ANY QUESTIONS, THEN DO NOT PURCHASE THE COINS!
There is no harm in asking for help. Talk to a dealer. If you do not know a dealer, reach out to an expert affiliated with the Accredited Precious Metals Dealer program (www.APMDdealers.org) or the Professional Numismatists Guild (www.PNGdealers.org). Or ask me! Using my background as a (now retired) information security specialist, I can tell you if I think a scammer created the website.
Please! Please! Please! Do not give these scammers your credit card information. You will be ripped off, and they will likely steal your credit card information, leading to other problems.
And now the news…