Gold IRA Scams

Here Are Some Pretty Standard Gold IRA Scams to Watch out For

Gold IRA Scams

Gold investments come in many forms and are very attractive options for those looking for a good asset to add to their portfolio. After all, anything that can retain a value independent of Fiat currencies is a win considering what inflation can do to your holdings.

This is one reason why you may consider a gold IRA investment, which is a great idea, considering it provides you with a way to protect your retirement savings. Unfortunately, prospective gold IRA investors are sometimes taken advantage of by those with malicious intent.

It’s not uncommon to see a gold IRA scam these days, and if you’re not careful, you’re hard-earned money could go down the drain. Here’s a look at some of these scams as well as ways you can protect yourself, such as sticking to trustworthy gold IRA firms like the ones covered!


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American Hartford Gold

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Scams You May Encounter with Your Interest in Gold IRAs

As you can imagine, scammers are looking for new ways to capitalize on investors all the time. Nevertheless, these are some of the types of scams you may encounter.

Counterfeiting Scams

Naturally, gold coins are a big part of the investment umbrella. If you’re going to be investing in a gold IRA, there’s quite literally a list of gold coins approved by the IRS, so there’s no escaping them. Unfortunately, it’s much easier than you may think to create fake bullion, coins, etc., and unsuspecting investors will buy these only to realize that the gold prices they expected are nowhere to be found.

Even when dealing with reputable precious metals dealers, it’s a good idea to have an expert authenticate whatever you’re buying on the market.

Home Storage Gold IRA Scams

When working with reputable gold ira companies, your custodian will purchase the gold on your behalf and will also ensure that it’s transported to an IRS-approved depository. One of the prevalent scams out there capitalizes on the fact that people often think about the prospect of storing gold at home.

Home Storage Gold IRA Scams
Therefore, they come with reduced storage rates and other amazing offers. There are two issues with this. The first is that you immediately compromise the security of the physical gold, considering you don’t have the security structures or the insurance a depository does.

More importantly, the IRS prohibits precious metals IRA investors from keeping their gold at home. Not only will it count as an early withdrawal that comes at a cost, but there are also other penalties you may have to face.

Rare Coin Valuation Scams

Rare coins are very attractive, and this means unscrupulous dealers will often want to charge a premium for them. Of course, because people are often willing to spend more based on perceived value, these dealers get away with selling collectable coins for exorbitant prices. By the time people discover they’ve spent way too much, it’s often too late.

Affiliation Scams

Taking advantage of authority and trust is how this works. The scammers will use the reputation of groups such as the church or the military. After all, if you are a veteran, you wouldn’t be faulted for thinking an organization that seems to have the best interests of those who served at heart is a good thing.

Overpayment Scams and Hidden Fees

This one is self-explanatory. Here, potential investors will find themselves being required to pay obscene costs. Such charges will be for standard storage or transaction tasks, which means the amount being invested gets significantly cut down.

Non-delivery Scams or Ponzi Schemes

Another common scheme commits to certain returns and pays investors dividends early by pooling funds and paying out. Of course, such a model can only work as long as new people keep coming on board, which means things will crumble at some point. Of course, there’s also the fact that invested money is being used to line the pockets of scammers.

Other Precious Metals Scams

There are other kinds of gold IRA scams to watch out for too that may not be listed here. You can typically tell based on tactics that are either deceptive or seem to be rushing you to make a decision.

The best way to avoid falling victim to these attempts is to remain vigilant. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and if you get any paperwork to sign, go over it with a fine-toothed comb!

Gold IRA Scams Are Real! Don’t Pretend They Don’t Exist

There’s a school of thinking that sees people pretend that something doesn’t exist because it hasn’t happened to them. You’d be doing yourself a disservice by thinking that way since it would mean letting your guard down and not being as vigilant as you should be.

Precious metals investments come with high stakes because there are huge financial implications. Imagine saving for your retirement and having your entire pool of assets go up in smoke.

Even if the scam is not directly stealing your money, you still could lose. Take a home storage gold IRA scam, for example. Since this isn’t approved by the IRS, you put yourself at a significant disadvantage.

Sure, the precious metals market can be lucrative, but at least stay informed if you’re going to capitalize on it.

How Can You Tell When Something Is off About Gold IRA Companies

In other areas of life, you may be cautious and proceed only when you are not being overwhelmed by red flags. This is the same kind of mindset you should have as a gold IRA investor. There is nothing such as a free lunch.

It helps to familiarize yourself with the oddities that may come up in the investment world since recognizing such patterns means being able to steer away from them in a pinch. Here are some of the glaring signs you should be paying attention to.

Strange Investment Options

Sure, you won’t know everything about how every investment works. However, an investor will always do at least a small amount of research to ensure that there’s a clear understanding of things since the risk of loss is always looming. Therefore, it’s not unlikely that you’ll find yourself wondering about some of the offerings you may see as unscrupulous parties try to scam you.

For example, you may have a general idea about what certain collectible coins may cost. If you’re getting what appears to be a serious discount, it should be something that makes you curious. Err on the side of caution, and don’t get swindled by false promises.

Concerning Documentation

Even scammers know that they can’t trick unsuspecting investors without at least making their attempts to swindle people look somewhat realistic. For example, you would be much less likely to fall victim to gold IRA scams that don’t have some kind of contract, as that would indicate that something is off.

Therefore, they will draft up contracts that look exactly like legitimate ones at a glance. What happens when you stop glancing and really pay attention to what you’re seeing, though?

Since contracts are legally binding and scammers want to at least try to avoid certain kinds of cases being brought against them, they’ll need to include ludicrous terms or even omit valuable information entirely.

This is why it’s important to pay attention to what you’re signing. Unfavorable terms, contradicting information, or flat-out unfavorable terms are all massive red flags. It can be boring to read through contracts, paying attention to every little detail, but doing so could be the very thing that saves you from elaborate gold scams in the future.

Below-board Sales Pitches

One of the reasons a good salesperson is so effective is being good at manipulating emotions and the situation in general. Without even realizing it, suddenly, you’re being pressured or rushed into a decision that sounds like the best thing in the world.

For example, many gold investors want to get their hands on rare collectible coins. Knowing this, scammers may pull a bait and switch on you. They’ll draw you in with the allure of limited edition coins and the so-called risk-free investment that gold represents.

Top gold IRA companies don’t operate this way. They allow clients to discuss with them calmly and provide information at a pace that creates comfort. You can tell that closing the deal is not the most important thing to them.

How Can You Ensure You’re Working with a Reputable Gold IRA Company?

Now, you should have a very good idea of the kind of scam attempts that you need to be on the lookout for, but much of what you’ve seen so far is on the reactive side of the fence. In other words, actions are being taken to scam you, but you make the right choices in the moment and escape on the other side without having been taken advantage of.

There are also proactive approaches that may be used to help you avoid gold IRA scams too, and these will involve looking for a different set of signs than the ones explored. Now, you’re going to be looking for indicators that you’re dealing with a reputable gold IRA company.

Storage and Insurance Are in Place

There’s a reason why a gold IRA custodian will always be a part of an authentic gold IRA investment. Naturally, protecting precious metals for the sake of preserving your portfolio is non-negotiable. Even the IRS understands the need to keep the assets protected, which is why the requirement to use an approved depository exists.

Precious metals investment scams will not put the same kind of priority on ensuring that you are taken care of first. if you’re dealing with a legitimate company, you’ll be able to verify the approval status of the depository being used and the extent to which insurance is in place to compensate you in the unlikely event that something should happen to your holdings.

Certification and Compliance

Legitimate gold IRA companies are not the kind of organizations where people just get up one day and decide they’re going to try out a business idea without making some legal and expected preparations.

As mentioned before, the IRS is very specific about the kinds of gold coins that may be used for a precious metals IRA. If you are being offered numismatic collectibles, run as far away as you can. There’s no loophole for disallowed coins, and you could be the one facing some serious liability and penalties when things go south.

Gold must meet a purity standard to be used, and the IRS mandates that the assets be accompanied by an authenticity certificate from the respective manufacturer, alongside other specifications. A reputable company will ensure that these requirements are met.

Learn What You Can

Sometimes the best way to see scams from a mile away is simply to educate yourself on the landscape of gold IRAs. So far, you’ve already learned quite a bit about scam patterns vs. legitimate ones, but you could stand to gain quite a bit from learning about the landscape of the gold IRA market as a whole.

For example, consider the previous point about the legally allowed coins for gold IRA investments. Now, you can look for that authenticity and even check the specific coins and mints that have been listed as approved. Armed with that kind of information, the moment an unscrupulous precious metals dealer seems to be offering services with any unapproved gold coin, you don’t even need to start a discussion.

Pay Attention to the Reputation

As is the case in any industry, businesses will develop a reputation after they have been operating for some time. Nothing is different in the world of gold IRAs. The companies that have stood out and taken care of their customers are recognized for this in the form of awards and reviews.

Bear in mind that there are sites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) that are dedicated to ensuring that you know the kind of reputation a business has before you get involved with it. If the company has low ratings, then it may not be the best fit. Run away even faster if it isn’t even listed.

Look at user reviews on independent platforms too, if you want to get a feel for what different experiences have been like.

Are The Services Relevant?

Make sure wherever you’re considering actually offers the services that you are interested in. If no such service is offered, don’t be coerced into investing anyways. Precious metal IRAs are meant for retirement savings. Don’t allow anyone to tell you that they don’t offer IRAs but then try to pressure you into buying some coin at a ridiculous premium or a questionably discounted price.

Free-flowing Information

Remember that trustworthy gold IRA firms have their customers at the center of everything they do. On the other hand, scammers want to use whatever kinds of underhanded tactics it takes to get you to make a hasty decision that you’ll likely regret.

If the information seems incomplete or isn’t adding up, there may be something wrong. You may also find that the fraudsters are not very forthcoming. A good gold IRA firm will take the time to make sure you understand anything you may be unclear on, even sometimes helping you with supplemental resources.

What to Do if You Think You’ve Discovered Uncommon or Common Gold IRA Scams?

Sometimes, whether because of a lack of vigilance or because a scam is so well constructed, people may fall victim to it. If this happens to you, it’s essential to take the right series of actions immediately.

Get Legal Assistance

IRA scams tend to fall under the umbrella of investment fraud, and these are some of the most nuanced cases out there with quite a bit of complexity for you to deal with.

The specialized knowledge that attorneys can offer is priceless here since they are the ones who would know the best way to proceed to ensure the best possible outcome for you as well as that your rights are well protected throughout the ordeal.

Of course, you’ll want a lawyer who focuses on areas such as investment fraud. You’ll want to find one who works in your jurisdiction.

Report the Scam

Should you suspect that there’s a gold IRA scam at play, making a report to the relevant authorities is crucial. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is one such place where these kinds of reports can be made.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, as well as local law enforcement, should also be contacted. While there are no guarantees, you stand the best possible chance of recovering your funds with early reporting.

Of course, you’ll also be helping to protect other would-be victims who would’ve met the same fate in the future. Even if you realized that it was a scam early enough not to get caught, make the report for the sake of others.

Do Not Proceed Further

Sometimes, people see the red flags and are almost sure that they’re dealing with a scam, but they still invest, hoping to be wrong and for the returns that they have been promised. Continuing further with a fraudulent party after you’ve caught on is nothing but a recipe for the losses you’ll incur to be worse than they need to be.

Protecting Yourself as an Investor

Gold investments, such as an IRA, can be pretty lucrative options, but you should try to align your decisions with best practices to avoid the fraudulent pitfalls. Here are some investment decisions that will help you stay safe and be able to identify concerns early.

Take No Uncomfortable Steps

Whenever you’re dealing with investments, try to avoid taking any steps unless you’re completely comfortable with what you’re doing. This is your money, after all. Why should you be in a position of discomfort or pressure when making a decision?

If you’re dealing with a trustworthy company, it will allow you to move carefully as you collect more details.

Keep Your Portfolio Diverse

Even if you are the most eagle-eyed investor out there, you still need to have a safety net just in case you do get caught in a well-crafted scam. One way to do this is to keep your portfolio diverse. By spanning different kinds of assets, you are better able to carry on if you take a hit on one of the investments.

This is not just a strategy to help you survive being scammed. It’s also a great way to ensure that you don’t crash and burn if one of your investments should fail because of market factors.

IRS-approved Gold IRA Investments Are Key

If you’re going to be engaging in IRA gold investments, at least keep in line with what the IRS has put out there where accepted coins and bars are concerned. As tempting as it may be, if you’re being offered rare coins, for example, that aren’t approved, do not accept them for gold IRA investments.

Stay Informed About Your Portfolio

Your investment portfolio is not something for you to set and forget. One of the best ways to keep track of how things are going is to monitor your investments. Keep your financial plan up to date, carefully choose your precious metals, and review the performance of your holdings regularly.

What Are the Most Reputable Gold IRA Companies on the Market?

So, you’ve been hearing about trustworthy gold IRA firms for some time now. What does one of those even look like? Here’s a quick rundown of the three most trusted ones on the market.

Augusta Precious Metals

Augusta Precious Metals has continuously delivered for its customers in an outstanding fashion where customer support, competitive fees, and education are concerned. It doesn’t hurt that the learning resources are from a respected Harvard economist.

You’re working with over a decade of experience in the world of gold IRAs here, meaning that you’re in very good hands. You’ll never feel like you are just being sold a service. The company wants you to be educated and understand the magnitude of every decision to be made before you make it.


Goldco is another name that holds a lot of weight in the gold IRA space. It has been operating for nearly two decades now, which speaks to the sheer wealth of experience that you’re dealing with. Not only can you invest in gold IRAs with Goldco, but you can also buy gold and silver directly if you wish.

The company has a gold buyback program too, if you’re no longer interested in gold holdings you’d previously have acquired. The customer service team is outstanding even if you’re not yet a customer. You can feel the extent to which your best interests are being prioritized.

American Hartford Gold

The final standout on the Market is American Hartford Gold, which has been around for almost a decade. Apart from allowing you to set up a gold IRA, services such as investment advice and storage are provided.

The advice part of things is where the company shines. The measure of true expertise is being able to share and teach others, and American Hartford Gold does this to an incredible degree.

Final Remarks

There’s no doubt that gold IRAs make for an interesting investment prospect, especially since you’re trying to set yourself up for a comfortable retirement. Unfortunately, gold IRA scams are all over, and if you’re not careful, you could fall victim to one.

Keep the information you’ve been given above in mind so you can recognize them. Additionally, stick to doing business with the reputable gold IRA companies identified to protect your interests.