By Patricia Uceda, Spring 2015 Graduate Research Assistant
As part of the FTC’s ongoing efforts to stop scammers who target senior citizens, last year the FTC permanently banned a bogus precious metals investment scheme from selling any more investment opportunities. The company was called Premier Precious Metals, Inc., and it allegedly conned consumers into buying precious metals on credit without disclosing significant risks.
The FTC claimed that the company used high-pressure sales tactics to get consumers to invest in the metals, stating that the investments were very lucrative and certain to earn huge profits with very little risk. However, they failed to disclose to consumers that their investments were actually leveraged, and that consumers were buying the metals on credit. The investments were not very profitable and most consumers ended up losing money.
The company and its owners were permanently banned in February of 2014. As of March 10, 2015, the FTC has sent more than 2.4 million in refund checks to over a hundred consumers harmed by the Premier Precious Metals scheme. Consumers are expected to recover nearly 70% of money lost on this investment.
If you’re interested in investing in precious metals, the FTC has some free information you should review: Investing in Gold?, Investing in Bullion and Bullion Coins, and Investing in Collectible Coins.