Gold and Silver IRA Scams- Everything You Need to Know so You’re Prepared

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Investing in a gold IRA or a silver IRA is a smart move to diversify your retirement portfolio and protect your wealth.

However, you must be aware of the potential risks and scams associated with gold IRA investments.

In recent years, there have been instances of fraudulent practices by a few dishonest gold IRA sellers, tarnishing the reputation of the entire industry.

To safeguard your retirement savings, it’s crucial to understand the common types of gold IRA scams, identify red flags, and follow best practices when investing.

All of it and below you can learn in the guide below.

Let’s go!

Gold and silver IRA scams- everything you need to know to be prepared
Gold and silver IRA scams- everything you need to know to be prepared

Understanding Gold IRA Scams

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Gold IRA scams can take various forms, with scammers targeting unsuspecting investors and jeopardizing their hard-earned retirement savings. It’s important to be aware of the different types of gold IRA scams to avoid becoming a victim. Let’s explore some common scams that you should watch out for:

1. Non-delivery or Ponzi Scheme Scams

In a non-delivery or Ponzi scheme scam, a company promises investors high returns on their investment by pooling funds from new investors to pay dividends to early investors. However, this scheme can only sustain for a while before collapsing, leaving unsuspecting investors with significant financial losses. It’s crucial to be cautious of investment opportunities that promise unrealistic returns.

2. Hidden Fees and Overpayment Scams

Some dishonest gold IRA sellers may subject investors to exorbitant fees or overpayment for storage or transactional operations. These hidden fees can slowly deplete an investor’s hard-earned money, leading to disappointment when promised returns on investment never materialize. It’s essential to thoroughly review all fees and costs associated with a gold IRA investment before committing to any transactions.

3. Rare Coin Valuation Scams

Unscrupulous dealers may charge high premiums for rare coins, artificially inflating their values to manipulate investors into paying more. These scams often involve regrading coins to make them appear more valuable than they actually are. It’s important to conduct thorough research and seek expert advice to avoid overpaying for rare coins that may not hold their purported value.

4. Home Storage Gold IRA Scams

Some scams involve companies persuading individuals to store precious metals like gold bars in their own homes. These companies promise higher returns from their retirement savings accounts by maintaining proper protocols. However, storing precious metals at home carries significant risks, including theft and natural disasters. It’s important to consider the inherent risks and mistrust associated with home storage arrangements before making any decisions.

5. Counterfeiting Scams

Counterfeiting is a prevalent gold IRA scam, with scammers crafting counterfeit coins that resemble the real thing. Purchasers soon discover that these coins do not hold their purported value, resulting in significant financial losses. To avoid falling victim to counterfeiting scams, it’s advisable to employ experts to authenticate the genuineness of specific bullion pieces before making any purchases.

These are just a few examples of gold IRA scams that investors should be aware of. It’s crucial to conduct thorough research, compare prices, and only work with recognized and reputable gold IRA dealers to protect yourself from scams.

The Dangers of Falling Victim to Gold IRA Scams

Falling victim to gold IRA scams can put a serious dent into your retirement savings.

Here are some of the dangers associated with these scams:

Financial Losses

Investors who fall victim to gold IRA scams can suffer significant financial losses. Their retirement assets may become worthless or be invested in fraudulent schemes, leaving them with little to no recourse for recovering their funds.

You need to exercise caution and due diligence to avoid such losses.

Tax Penalties and Liabilities

Investing in a gold IRA requires strict adherence to IRS regulations.

Because you wi face unexpected tax liabilities and penalties if scammers convince you to invest in a fraudulent gold IRA.

It’s crucial you work with reputable gold IRA companies to avoid paying unnecessary taxes and penalties.

You should also consult with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure all your investments comply with IRS guidelines.

Missed Opportunities

By falling victim to gold IRA scams, you will miss out on legitimate investment opportunities that could bring you a nice return on your investment.

You will also become jaded towards the idea of investing in a gold IRA. And that’d be a mistake because gold as a precious metal successfully acts as a hedge against rising inflation and economic downturns.

Scammers often use high-pressure sales tactics or unsolicited offers that seem too good to be true. It’s important to stay informed, conduct thorough research, and make informed investment decisions to avoid missing out on genuine investing opportunities.

To mitigate these risks, it’s crucial to be vigilant, conduct thorough research, and work with reputable gold IRA companies that prioritize transparency and customer satisfaction.

Learn right below my top 2 choices of excellent gold IRA companies.

Finding Reputable Gold IRA Companies

While the risk of gold IRA scams exists, there are reputable companies in the precious metals market that can help you safeguard your investments. Here are three well-regarded gold IRA companies to consider:

Augusta Precious Metals

What is Augusta Precious Metals?

Augusta Precious Metals is a reliable gold IRA company that offers excellent customer service and competitive fees.

With over a decade of experience, Augusta Precious Metals has been recognized as a premier gold company. They provide educational resources and have a positive reputation among customers (Augusta Precious Metals have exactly zero complaints on their BBB profile)

Note: Augusta Precious Metals are the only precious metals IRA company that “force” you to sit in a one-on-one conferred with Devlyn Steele (Devlyn Steele is a Hardward-trained economist who’s Augusta’s director of education).

During that web conference, Devlyn will explain:

  • How gold and silver have helped retirement savers hedge inflation
  • How does Federal Reserve action affect the economy
  • Concerns about the future of the U.S. dollar
  • How to avoid falling for gimmicks & high-pressure tactics when buying gold and silver
Augusta Precious Metals web conference
Augusta Precious Metals web conference


What is Goldco?

Goldco is a private gold investment company specializing in wealth and asset protection services. They sell precious metals to American savers and they also help investors open gold IRA accounts with them.

Goldco has a perfect A+ score from BBB and they’re also rated extremely favourable on reputable consumer watchdog websites like Trustlink, Trustpilot, Business Consumer Alliance and ConsumerAffairs.

Goldco are known for their exceptional customer service and their commitment to educating potential customers before trying to sell to them.

They’re a legit gold IRA firm and the only other company I recommend besides Augusta Precious Metals.

Read how Augusta Precious Metals and Goldco compare right here.

Identifying Red Flags in Gold IRA Companies

It’s crucial to be vigilant and identify potential red flags when dealing with gold IRA companies.

Here are some warning signs to watch out for to protect yourself from gold IRA scams.

High-Pressure Sales Tactics

Be cautious of salespeople who use high-pressure tactics to convince you to invest in a gold IRA.

You need to treat claims of guaranteed high returns or once-in-a-lifetime opportunities with scepticism.

Legitimate gold IRA companies focus on providing accurate information and educating investors rather than using aggressive sales tactics.

Phoney IRAs

Some scammers may try to sell phoney gold IRAs, convincing you to transfer your money to their fraudulent scheme. It’s essential to work with reputable gold IRA companies and verify their credentials before making any investments.

Research the company’s track record, check customer reviews, and ensure they have the necessary licenses and certifications.

Augusta Precious Metals certifications and awards
Augusta Precious Metals certifications and awards

Nonexistent Purchases

Ensure that your gold IRA custodian actually purchases physical gold on your behalf and stores it securely at an insured depository.

Some scammers will take your money without actually buying any gold or silver bullion.

You need to ask for certification and documentation that confirms your investment is legitimate, properly stored and insured.

Selling Collectible Coins

Legitimate gold IRAs is all about buying gold as a commodity, and not buying collectable coins. Be cautious of sales pitches that encourage you to buy rare coins for your gold IRA, as this is an obvious scam and a fraud.

Numismatic coins are not IRA-approved.

And even if you’re going to buy for rare coins consult first with experts to avoid overpaying.

Misleading Contracts

Read all contracts thoroughly before signing any agreements, including those related to setting up a gold IRA. Some scammers may include unfavourable terms or misleading clauses in their contracts. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the contract, consult with a qualified attorney to ensure its legitimacy and protect your interests.

Augusta Precious Metals transaction agreement
Augusta Precious Metals transaction agreement

Unsolicited Offers

Legitimate gold IRA companies typically do not cold-call individuals to drum up business. Be extremely cautious if you receive unsolicited offers or calls from salespeople trying to convince you to invest in a gold IRA.

Reputable companies respond to customer inquiries and provide information without resorting to aggressive sales tactics.

How to Protect Yourself from Gold IRA Scams

Here are the steps you can take to proactively protect yourself from gold IRA scams:

  • Choose a Reputable Dealer;
  • Ensure Proper Storage and Insurance;
  • Stay Informed and Vigilant;
  • Report Suspected Scams and Seek Legal Assistance.

It’s crucial you take proactive measures when it comes to safeguarding your retirement savings from gold IRA scams.

Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:

Choose a Reputable Gold IRA Company

Selecting a reputable gold IRA company is crucial.

You will not get scammed if you pick a reputable gold IRA company to open your precious metals IRA account.

There is no room here but the gist of it is you need to do thorough research.

Research customer feedback on verified review sites like TrustLink, Trustpilot and especially Better Business Bureau.

Look for dealers with a history of positive reviews and a verifiable address. Avoid companies with numerous negative reviews or suspicious business practices.

Also, avoid companies that have many unresolved customer complaints. Unrespove complaints strongly hint that gold IRA company is either a scam or at least an unethical and shady business.

To give you an example, Goldco are one of the best gold IRA companies operating on the US market.

They promptly resolve all customer complaints that get submitted to BBB. It’s a sign they’re a legitimate precious metals dealer company.

Goldco resolved BBB complaints
Goldco resolved BBB complaints

Ensure Proper Storage and Insurance

Gold and silver as part of an IRA must be stored in an IRA-approved depository or vault.

As a potential customer, you need to be aware of it and avoid schemes that promote self-storage, as the IRS has not officially approved this practice.

You need to work with a reputable custodian that offers secure storage and insurance for your precious metals.

Pro tip: picking a reputable gold IRA company ensures you’ll get connected with a legitimate and trustworthy custodian.

It’s part of the service gold IRA companies provide. You also need to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure full compliance with IRS guidelines.

Stay Informed and Vigilant

You also need to stay informed about market trends, gold prices, and the reputation of gold IRA companies. Regularly review the performance of your investments and adjust your portfolio as needed.

Be cautious of unsolicited offers, high-pressure sales tactics, and unrealistic promises. Conduct thorough research and consult with experts before making any investment decisions.

Pro tip: you’ll get lifetime support if you pick Augusta Precious Metals as your gold IRA company of choice.

Part of this lifetime support is that you can always call them and get updated info on what’s going on with the economy and gold prices.

This is an exclusive offer valid for all customers of Augusta and it’s something no other precious metals dealer offers.

Augusta Precious Metals lifetime support
Augusta Precious Metals lifetime support

Report Suspected Scams and Seek Legal Assistance

If you suspect that you have fallen victim to a gold IRA scam, report it to the relevant authorities immediately. Contact agencies like the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and local law enforcement.

Next, seek legal assistance to protect your rights and explore options for recovering your investment.

US Securities and Exchange Commission
US Securities and Exchange Commission

By following these steps and working with reputable gold IRA companies, you can minimize the risk of falling victim to scams and protect your retirement savings.

Gold and silver IRA scams FAQ
Gold and silver IRA scams FAQ

How Do Gold IRA Scams Work?

Fraudulent gold IRA dealers perpetrate gold IRA scams by using high-pressure tactics to convince potential victims to purchase overpriced gold coins or jewellery.

The scammer then takes the money and does not deliver any goods, or they deliver fake coins and bullion.

These types of scams leave investors without their hard-earned money, feeling dejected and bitter about gold and silver IRAs.

What is a Gold Coin Scam?

Gold coin scam is when a fraudulent party (usually a shady precious metals dealer) sells to an unsuspecting party gold coins at prices several times higher than the spot price of gold on that day.

Often markups go as high as 300% leaving investors without a lot of money and ruining the chances of any future profit as the price of gold increases.

What is a Gold Bar Scam?

There are several types of gold bar scams. Here are the two most common.

First, someone may try to sell you a gold bar that looks like it’s made from gold, but it’s actually made from some cheaper material (for example tungsten).

Second, inheritance fraud. You supposedly inherited gold from a deceased relative and you just need to pay for shipping.

What is a Cash for Gold Scam?

A cash for gold scam is a type of fraud that involves convincing people to give money in exchange for gold products or financial returns.
The scammer will use high-pressure tactics to convince you to buy overpriced gold coins or jewellery.

But the gold bullion doesn’t exist and you’ll just be losing your money.

Is Buying Gold Online a Scam?

Buying gold online is not a scam. There are plenty of excellent precious metals dealer companies which can sell gold and other precious metals.

Some of these precious metal dealers double as gold IRA companies that can help you open a gold IRA account with them.

What are the Biggest Gold Investment Scams? link

Is Selling Rare Coins for Gold IRA a Scam?

Selling rare coins for your gold IRA is a scam. This is because rare coins are not IRA-approved and you can’t hold them as a part of your gold IRA.

You need to not do business with some precious metals dealer that offers to open a gold IRA account for you and fill it with numismatic coins.

It’s not possible and it’s against the law.

Is Selling Palladium Coins and Bullion for Gold IRA a Scam?

Selling palladium coins and bullion for gold IRA is not a scam.

Palladium is an IRA-approved precious metals and you can have it as part of your gold IRA.

Is Selling Platinum Coins and Bullion for Gold IRA a Scam?

Selling platinum coins and bullion for gold IRA is not a scam.

Platinum is an IRA-approved precious metal and you can have it as part of your gold IRA.

Is Selling Rhodium Coins and Bullion for Gold IRA a Scam?

Selling rhodium coins and bullion for gold IRA is a scam. Rhodium is not an IRA-approved precious metal and you can include these coins and bullion as part of your IRA.

Is Selling Jewellery for Gold IRA a Scam?

Selling jewellery for gold IRA is a scam.

Jewellery is not IRA-approved and the IRS consider jewellery a collectable and doesn’t allow collectables in IRAs. 

How is the Age of Gold IRA Company Corellated With Legitimacy?

The age of a gold IRA company is positively correlated with the company’s legitimacy. Meaning, that the older the company, the higher chances they’re not a scam.

This is because the older the company the more time for it to go under if it’s a scam or if it defrauds its customers.

That said, it doesn’t mean you need to go with the gold IRA company that’s been in the business the longest.

If a business has been operating 7+ years, and they have very few legitimate complaints and lawsuits, then they are legit.

Does Having Complaints on BBB Indicate a Gold IRA Company is a Scam?

Having complaints on BBB does not indicate a gold IRA company is a scam.

Instead, a telltale sign is having complaints that have never been addressed and resolved.

For example, Goldco is a legitimate precious metal IRA company. And they make sure to resolve all complaints potential customers have.

Take a look, in this year alone they successfully resolved 23 complaints.

Goldco resolved customer complaints on BBB

Pro tip: there are more than 15 gold IRA companies operating in the US market. And among those Augusta Precious Metals is the only one who has never gotten a single complaint on BBB.

And they have hundreds of positive reviews.

Augusta Precious Metals have zero complaints on BBB

Do Repeated Calls from a Gold IRA Company Indicate It’s a Scam?

Repeated, persistent calls from a gold IRA company are a telltale sign that a company is a scam, or at least very shady.

Legitimate gold IRA companies don’t chase potential customers, instead. they educate them and then let them decide if investing in gold and silver is the right move for them.

If you’re continuously pestered by some company, my advice is to not do business with them as you’ll probably be burned.

Is Not Having a Refund Policy a Sign of a Scam Gold IRA Company?

It is not a sign of a scam if a gold IRA company or certain precious metals dealer firm doesn’t offer a refund policy.

There are plenty of legitimate companies in the gold IRA niche and other niches that do’ offer refund guarantees, and that doesn’t make them scams.

For example, Noble Gold is a reputable gold IRA company with years of experience in servicing the US market.

However, they don’t have a refund policy and don’t issue refunds in any instance.

That said, it’s better for you as a customer to work with gold IRA companies that have refund policies in place as a form of customer protection.

For example, Augusta Precious Metals has an excellent refund policy and they’re the gold IRA company I recommend to any American saver or investor.

Augusta Precious Metals refund policy
Augusta Precious Metals refund policy



can I Recovev the Funds Lost Via Scam

Gold and Silver IRA Scams (Conclusion)

Investing in a gold IRA is a wise decision to diversify your retirement portfolio, and protect your wealth and financial future.

However, you need to be aware of the potential risks and scams associated with gold IRA investments.

By understanding common types of gold IRA scams, identifying red flags, and following best practices, you can safeguard your retirement savings from fraudulent schemes.

Work with reputable gold IRA companies, stay informed and be vigilant in your investment decisions.

If you have questions, ask them in the comment section below

Nikola Roza

Nikola Roza is an affiliate marketer and blogger behind Nikola Roza- SEO for the Poor and Determined. He writes for bloggers who don't have huge marketing budgets and who still want to carve out a niche online and a better life for themselves. He's also passionate about precious metals IRAs and how to invest in gold and silver for a safer financial future. Learn about Nikola here, or read his blog posts and guides here.

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