From Birch Gold Group
Do you know who you can trust? It’s an important question, and not knowing the answer could end up costing you a sizable chunk of your hard-earned savings.
Several individuals learned that the hard way when they decided put their trust in Robert Escobio and his two companies, Southern Trust Metals and Loreley Overseas Corp.
The companies supposedly gave regular folks access to physical ownership of precious metals, but a recent lawsuit shows they were actually scamming customers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Escobio’s companies got caught in an outright lie. They led customers to believe they were buying physical ownership of various precious metals, primarily gold, which were claimed to be held in London and Hong Kong depositories.
However, neither Southern Trust nor Loreley ever bought, possessed, owned rights to, or delivered any of the metals.
The CFTC found that customers’ money was siphoned off from one of the two companies to the other, then redirected to accounts in the U.K. – never once touching an ounce of metal.
Now Escobio and his companies are on the hook for $2.1 million in restitution for the losses they caused for customers.
But what about the other bad guys who haven’t been caught?
Gold Scams on the Rise?
Unfortunately, scams like this one aren’t necessarily one-in-a-million situations. There will always be hucksters out there looking to prey on whoever might be willing to hand over their money.
To make matters worse, tides in the market might be poised to make these scams far more common.
As precious metals markets tighten and access to physical metal becomes increasingly difficult, it could easily encourage more scammers like Escobio to advertise gold investments without actually having any metal in-hand.
How to Spot a Scam
Holding your metals in personal possession and buying locally is one surefire way to avoid getting scammed. Local dealers can give you the immediate assurance that comes with buying your metals in-person. But for most people, there are too many obstacles preventing local transactions from being a viable option.
Tax rules, limited selection, and ability (or lack thereof) to set up a Precious Metals IRA are just a few of the reasons why many choose to pursue other ways to buy physical metals.
However, it’s crucial that you work with a legitimate dealer. After all, the story you just heard demonstrates what could happen if you don’t. Thankfully, there’s a simple way to vet dealers in just one step.
Check for a guarantee.
Any reputable and trustworthy precious metals dealer will give you an unwavering guarantee for physical ownership of your metal – no ifs, ands, or but. Whether it’s through vault storage or delivery, there should be an indisputable connection between you and your metals.
If you can’t get that guarantee, start running in the other direction… fast.
For its customers who purchase precious metals for physical possession, Birch Gold Group makes it a top priority to deliver them in a fast and timely manner, so they can confidently control their wealth, and store it as they see fit. See what our customers are saying through first-hand testimonials or request our Free 2016 Info Kit to discover how Birch Gold can accommodate your goals.