Fool’s Gold! The Montana Precious Metals Scam

“Mr. and Mrs. Allen, my name is Trevor and I have been authorized to give you a special offer.  Our firm, SilverCert, has just acquired a cache of uncirculated gold coins from an estate near Morocco.  These finely minted coins date from the 1920s and each with a troy ounce of pure gold. 

While we are working with the Moroccan and U.S. governments to bring these valuable pieces to the states, SilverCert wants you to have the first opportunity to own your share.  With the foreign exchange rate in gold in that country, each coin is only $1,785.  Once they are here, the value jumps to the current $2,153.  You are poised to earn an incredible $368 per coin.  Because of the rapid movement of these sales, SilverCert will have your coins in our facility on the east coast, ready to move upon your sale.


There is a limited quantity and my colleagues are selling them fast.  Mr. and Mrs. Allen, we have very little time.  I can arrange a wire transfer for you to secure as many of these treasures as you can afford.  How rich do you want to get fast?

Actually the question should be “How rich do you want to make us, not you?”

Okay, I made all this up off the top of my head, but the underlying message is the same:


Here we go again, another fraud to look out for.  This warning came from Montana’s Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, Troy Downing.

First of all, legitimate metals dealers will not make cold calls; they don’t have to, they advertise on radio or TV.  Second, you should know the company you are buying metals from, know they are registered and licensed, and understand how these commodities work.  Next, you should be able verify everything about the company.

This con works the same way as other scams: pressure you into a decision now, so you don’t have time to think; and electronic access to your bank accounts to wire to an unknown account somewhere, likely overseas.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

What about Legal Investment Companies?

Legitimate investment firms will give you lots of time to make a decision to buy or sell.  They should have physical addresses, websites, toll-free phone numbers, and licenses that you can verify.

Please also understand that these firms get a commission on the sale.  They don’t do this for free or out of the kindness of their hearts.  As Deputy Commissioner Brett Olin explains, “if you invest $100 in gold, but the seller is getting a 35% commission, you are only getting $65 worth of gold.”

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

Your intuition is best defense on scams.  You know the saying: if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.  For these cold calls, you can simply hang up.

Play it safe and secure out there.  The snakes are out.

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