Stop! Don't lose in gold scams when selling jewelry! READ THIS!
Ready to unload some of that gold jewelry you have lying around? Don't do it! At least, don't sell your gold jewelry or other valuables until you have checked and double checked the buyer's credentials. All you have to do is check the Ripoff Report page to begin viewing hundreds of scams that have been reported regarding the buying and selling of gold - and these are only the scams that have been reported. You may see the name of the business or person you were about to regretfully go into business with.
Linked Investigations has done work repeatedly for clients who handed over their gold or jewelry for "evaluation" and then never saw their investment, or the money they were to be paid, again. It's critical that you do your homework and research a few potential gold and/or jewelry dealers before you hand over your valuables and risk getting scammed. Doing some research of your own on the internet and even enlisting the help of a private investigator can help you avoid a scam or to get help if you've been the victim of a gold or jewelry selling scam.
Many of these disreputable and unscrupulous bad guys have successful businesses and have been operating in town, or in several towns, primarily preying on the elderly, for decades. It's not always easy to find their dirty little secrets. It's even more difficult to retrieve your possessions or the money after all of the misdirection designed to let time pass, by the bad guy.
Steps to Protect Yourself When Selling Gold or Jewelry to "Experts"
There are a few steps you can take to protect yourself from getting ripped off, and to make sure you get the best price for your gold and jewelry. Contrary to what you would think, online gold buyers and sellers are often more legitimate than their brick-and-mortar storefront counterparts. There are a couple reasons for this.
The first reason is that criminals know that people put more faith in a brick-and-mortar store so they can set up shop for a month, rip people off, and then leave again. Using false names and business licenses, they can repeat their crimes over and over again in different locations. The second reason is that it costs more money to run a brick-and-mortar location. Therefore, legitimate gold buyers may still give you a weak price because it takes more money to run their business.
Either way, it's important that you take the time to protect yourself. Here are a few steps we recommend before you sell your gold or jewels, or before you send them in or leave them for an appraisal. * You must learn the person's true name and the actual name of their business.
- Read Online Reviews. Don't just make sure they have online reviews, take the time to read them. Remember that scam artists can write their own reviews so read the negative reviews very carefully. If you sniff any amount of "scam" or "rip-off" odor, avoid that buyer like the plague. Having a review page isn't enough. So many clients tell us that they didn't read the reviews because they felt the star-rating sufficed. This is a bad practice. Reading reviews will help you to figure out whether or not the company/their reviews are legitimate. You are your own best judge.
- Remember, make sure any review you find isn't simply the product of the company you are trying to review. It's very easy to create one's own web-result that says whatever they want, and have it appear to be an objective, third-party review.
- Try researching their personal name as well as their company name. Make sure you know this information before even considering doing business with the entity. Many companies alter their name just slightly which is all that's needed to throw-off any amateur search effort. Mike Garroutte at Linked Investigations regularly finds serious contradictory information in the public records and on-line resources on bad guys by using proprietary methods to check name variations for companies and individuals.
- Use referrals from trusted sources such as friends and family who know and have conducted business with the entity.
- Take photographs of your items. Get detailed receipts showing the name of the person you are doing business with, the company, the date, etc., with the person's name and all other information written legibly. DO NOT except excuses for non-compliant documentation. Only agree to accurate straight-forward agreements relative to consignment, sales or assignment of your property.
- Enlist the services of a legitimate private investigator to conduct some research for you. Again, you must use some diligence when researching your private investigator to help weed out the over-priced or under experienced private Investigators.
A qualified private Investigator such as Mike Garroutte at Linked Investigations can locate criminal records, tax liens, civil Judgments, business listings, corporate filings, bankruptcies, reviews on line and much, much more, in a short time frame.
We are not aware of any 100% perfect method for knowing when a person or a company will take their next victim but doing your homework in the beginning and not after the crime, can save you much grief.
All of this may sound complicated and overwhelming. For any questions, you are encouraged to contact us for free. Our discussion is confidential. Call Linked Investigations and ask for Mike Garroutte.
Be Careful and Good Luck!