Iowans that are selling gold jewelry for cash are being warned of a scam. Bill Brauch with the Iowa Attorney General’s office says people are being ripped off by con artists on web-based auction sites. He says a sure sign of possible fraud is when anybody offers a check for more than the asking price or what the piece of jewelry is worth.
“What happens is the check turns out to be counterfeit,” Brauch said. “They ask you to send the overage back to them and keep the price you were asking, but you end up liable to your bank for the whole amount because (the check) turns out to be counterfeit.”
Gold prices are hovering at $1,000 an ounce, so it may be tempting to sell jewelry for cash. Brauch says it’s always best to deal directly, rather than exchanging cash on-line or through the mail. “The fact that it goes to a location in some other state doesn’t necessary mean that it is a (U.S. company). You might have someone in Canada or Europe using a post office box in some small town somewhere,” Brauch said. “So, you need to be very, very careful about sending an item away.”
In addition, Brauch says if you send items through the mail and they’re stolen, it’s almost impossible to prosecute the case. He suggests getting items appraised and dealing with the buyer face to face. It’s also important to get a receipt or something in writing to verify the transaction.