Investing in precious metals has been a popular choice for many considering the financial security it offers in these uncertain times, and with the rise of online trading platforms, it’s become even more accessible. However, with great opportunities come great risks, and unfortunately, the precious metal investment industry has also been plagued by fraudsters looking to take advantage of vulnerable investors. It’s essential to know the common precious metal investment scams to avoid.
1. Bait and Switch Scam
It’s one of the most common scams in the precious metal investment industry. Here, a dealer lures you in with a lower-than-market price for precious metals. After you’ve purchased, the dealer will inform you that the price has since increased, and you’ll need to pay an inflated price, or you can accept a lesser quality metal.
To avoid such a scam, ensure to conduct thorough research before making any investment. It’s advisable to use reputable dealers and check with consumer advocacy groups like the Better Business Bureau.
2. “Collectible” Power Coins
These coins are minted with the sole intent of being sold as collectibles rather than investments. The sellers claim that the coins are rare, and their value is set to increase over time, but this isn’t usually accurate. Often, these coins don’t have a resale value, and the premium paid for collectible power coins is unwarranted.
It’s advisable to invest in well-known bullion or graded coins, which hold a genuine numismatic value and are likely to hold their value over time.
3. Unscrupulous Coin Grading
Coin grading is crucial in determining the value of a coin. Scammers can take a low-quality coin and artificially enhance it or upgrade the grading, leading to it being sold at a higher price.
To avoid this, ensure that your dealer uses a reputable grading service and check with organizations like the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation or Professional Coin Grading Service.
4. Pyramid Schemes
One of the most dangerous scams in precious metal investment is the pyramid scheme. In this scenario, investors are promised high returns for recruiting new investors. The cycle continues, and while some early investors make returns, the majority end up losing their money and have finical consequences.
Avoid pyramid schemes by avoiding any program that requires you to recruit others or offers you unrealistic returns without the risks outlined.
5. Offshore Brokers
Suppose you’re looking to invest in precious metals in a foreign country. In that case, there’s a good chance that you’re dealing with offshore brokers that don’t have regulations or accountability to protect your investments.
While legitimate investments can be made overseas, ensure to conduct a thorough background check on the brokers, verifying their credibility before making any transaction.
In conclusion, investing in precious metals can be an excellent way to protect your wealth and diversify your portfolio. However, it’s important to exercise caution and remain vigilant for red flags when it comes to precious metal investment. By avoiding the common precious metal investment scams outlined in this article, you can invest confidently, safe in the knowledge that your investment is secure.