Gold scams are now a major threat for companies and individual investors seeking to profit from gold by investing internationally. A dismal global economy has firms, hedge funds and individuals looking for larger profits and returns than in the low interest on bank savings accounts and U.S. T-bills. Many expect a complete collapse of the U.S. dollar under reckless spending of the Barack Hussein Obama Administration and his corresponding large government policies. With soaring inflation in many markets, including the United States, precious metals have been all the boom and hype, outpacing nearly every other financial instrument in market. Gold is king, as global real estate prices, stock markets and bonds offer little returns. Investors worldwide are now chasing the Gold rush, and with more experienced and inexperienced investors and companies seeking opportunities abroad, Gold scams are up significantly. International background checks and due diligence is advised.
Much of the gold scams are coming from Africa. Many criminals claim to be entrepreneurs from West Africa or South Africa, in countries like South Africa and Ghana, Africa’s two largest producers of gold. Scammers claim to be established gold trading businesses or mining companies and offer international investors big opportunity for investment. Gold sellers and mints in the U.S. and Australia are also being fooled, as they seek out new gold suppliers. Such high demand and limited supply is causing gold sellers to establish relationships with new suppliers and contacts, many of which are unverified.
Companies can claim to be registered with agencies such as the Precious Mineral Marketing Company (PMMC) in Ghana to gain the confidence of potential investors (and victims) and often have website that appear to be legitimate. A closer analysis and investigation often reveals some experienced criminals in West Africa, who are savvy con men with utmost knowledge of the gold industry. Many even obtain government issued contracts and official looking certificates to prove they are authentic, and others claim to be growing and have agents in the African countries and North America.
Professional private investigation agencies have received plenty of requests for international background checks to verify some of these entities just to find out most of them are taking advantage of a globally depressed economy. The problem is so big in the U.S. that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has released a communication to warn Americans about this fraud. These fraudsters often offer deals too good to be true, but some deals, experts say, are nearly identical to the real thing. In many cases, only a professional field investigator or private investigation firm with a team on the ground can verify facilities, government registration, mining operations, business contracts, and check for reputation and check local references. The scams are becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated. Investors should conduct due diligence to avoid Ghana gold scams.
Some false entities and criminals claim to have offices in the U.S. but are really are located as far away as Ghana or even China. China is probably the fastest gold scam market in the world at this time. A competent private investigation or background check firm with field investigators in the country can verify the location of the company, if it is legally established, if your contacts are actually who they claim to be, and more importantly, investigators will let you know if the gold seller is really registered with a positive reputation. Large amounts of money are being lost to gold scams on a daily basis. Some have lost their entire life savings. Be safe and verify any international gold investments.
Best of luck,
© 2011 A. Hathaway.
A. Hathaway has 20+ years of experience in fraud prevention, foreign markets, international investigations and background checks. He has served as lead investigator for cases in over 20 countries in 5 continents. Hathaway works as a consultant for international private investigators and maintains his own private investigator blog.