Rare coins collection and investment in gold is a wise decision to make as part of your investment portfolio, provided you do not become a victim to fraudulent dealers and companies, and loose most of the money you invest. In case you are a victim of such fraud you should speak with a knowledgeable coin fraud attorney to file a rare coin fraud claim or a class action lawsuit and recover your lost savings.
Even while we say this there is one company that is making news receiving a lot of consumer complaints, i.e., Goldline International, Inc. In case you have purchased rare and gold bullion coins from Goldline, chances are that you may have a fraud claim against the company, as many people do. Goldline has been under the scanner and there are investigation by a U.S. congressional committee, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) bureau of consumer protection, and local officials in California, as the company is based in Santa Monica. The company has been known for advertising high markups and deploying unethical sales tactics, for which it has come in for a lot of criticism.
Goldline, LLC is a retail seller of gold and silver coins, and other precious metals catering to investors and collectors. It has its headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with more than 350 employees and an estimated $737 million revenues way back in 2010.
It was formed as a Deak & Co. subsidiary created in 1960, a firm that in the late 1970s was the largest storefront gold retailer and later on was declared bankrupt in 1980s. The company was later bought and sold several times in the following years.
The company sells over the phone, via Internet, and in person to customers who respond to an advertisement. It also calls past customers when new collectable coins arrive however it does not cold call prospective clients. Purchases are made by check, credit card, cash, or wire transfer.
There are some consumers who have disclosed that they were ripped or had received something different than what they thought they had placed an order for. There are investors who have filed claims against Goldline for fraud and unethical business practices. There are other claims against Goldline which include:
They have been alleged to overcharge for gold bullion coins and have engaged in high markups on numismatic gold coins. American Gold Eagle coin, Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin, and South Africa’s Krugerrand gold coin were some of the most common types of gold bullion coins that were sold at Goldline. Some investors/collectors claim that these coins are cheaper on Golidline’s competitors’ websites that at the price sold by Goldline. The company has allegedly sold a common European coin such as and the 20 Franc French Rooster, as a numismatic coin.
The company has been known to have falsely offered “good” investments with guaranteed profits, which was an illusion. As Goldline has been accused of selling gold at nearly twice the melt value, those who have invested won’t even achieve a break even unless the gold price doubles in value.
Sales personnel have been accused of falsely giving financial advice. Sales people have misrepresented their position and have known to have offered financial investment advice to investors.
Their sale tactics was to instill fear and create panic by saying that the government will confiscate gold. As well as play on the fear of inflation leading to a possibility that the U.S. government will repeat what it did during the Great Depression i.e., it will seize gold bullion.
On the point of buy back it is to be understood that the law does not allow precious metal dealers, such as Goldline, to guarantee a buy-back. However Goldline floated a buy back scheme where the seller was required to pay a 1% liquidation fee on the bid price of the coin (the price Goldline was willing to buy back the coin before discounting for the fee). Further Goldline would consider purchasing coins sold by other companies at an offer less than equivalent coins they would originally sell.
Goldline as mentioned earlier was accused of overcharging with average markups of 90% to 152%. This was Goldline was involved in manipulating the public. Goldline also offered a “price guarantee program” which meant that if the price of selected coins declines within two weeks, the buyer instead of being offered refund of the amount of the price difference had an option to use that amount to purchase coins of the same type (instead of a refund) within the allowable period of 14 days.
A Congressional hearing into Goldline’s sales tactics was convened on 23 September, 2010. Rep. Anthony Weiner, the New York Democrat who called the hearings, described Goldline sales tactics as a “profound rip-off”. In addition, according to court records three Goldline sales associates were sued by the Securities Exchange Commission in the 1990s on allegations that they used “boiler room” tactics and deceptive mass mailings to defraud elderly investors out of $1,180,000.
Goldline advertised their product as “inflation proof” and a totally safe investment that will always appreciate, which is certainly not true. Gold is a commodity and like any other commodity it could reach such a high price that nobody is willing to pay. This would result is a bubble bursting, the price falling and gold no longer being worth what the investor paid for. In February of 2012, Goldline settled a lawsuit with the Santa Monica city attorney’s office, agreeing to refund its former customers up to $4.5 million.
The company often used scare tactics and propagated the theory of gold being inflation proof saying that in the event of a sudden catastrophic economic collapse gold will be the only thing left of real value when the US dollar is sunk (outside of beans and bullets). However contrarily, Goldline only accepted payment in the form of the currency which, in an economic collapse, would be worthless.
Having heard about the background of the company it is important we look at some of the complaints against them narrated below:
One of the investors was advised to convert his IRA funds to gold coins. The sales person was polite in the beginning but that was only until he had paid.
Goldline provided the details of their buyback value and very convincingly explained how it could be beneficial. The concerned investor got convinced and invested a big of money. However, only after he got his first statement he realized that he was cheated. According to the statement, the value was 40% less than what he had invested.
In his words:
They never provided me the number of coins for which I had paid. When I called them, the person on the other end was fast talking and I was not able to understand any bit of it. It was not the way I was welcomed before.
I asked them about the statement and he continued saying that it was the price for the month. This is insane. The prices of gold were at peak at that time and in no case, this would have been the difference in the prices that I funded and the amount that the statement reflected.
These people are cunning and scammers. They overcharge for their coins and then provide the statement with the current pricing making a huge difference in the profit only for them.
I also purchased the specialty card from them. It was a 1/10 ounce bullion bar. I made the payment in full and it arrived after a weeks’ time. I even checked it with a jeweler and he showed doubts about the quality of the bar. (This again is a new angle to the whole story).
I am completely ripped off by these frauds. The company is overpriced and cheating its customers by false pretense. In short, they make customers believe in something and then scam them by taking the money that they never provide coins for.
I have checked other Goldline reviews here and they all are screaming with pain. Some of them lost thousands of dollars because of these idiots. The company is making illusionary claims and is putting its customers in trouble.
I wish I had researched about this company online before giving my money to these guys. I am not in a position to advise others as I am the one who made the wrong decision. However, I want to warn customers not to deal with this company.
Any other company would provide a better price than this company. If you want to save your time and money, this place is not for you. I am going to write about these scammers on every portal possible. At least, they should know that we are not dumb. These guys took me for granted once, now they will never have the opportunity to serve me in future.
Another review says:
“Looks like Goldline is up to its old tricks again. For anyone considering doing business with this company, please read what happened to me first. **** in 2010 when Glen **** was talking up Goldline and trying to sell the idea that the government was going to come and seize all your assets and the only thing that was going to be safe would be gold, I used nearly $60,000 from a 401(k) to purchase gold from Goldline to be held in a IRA account with Goldstar Trust. The salesperson lied to me outright and said that I could not hold gold bullion in an IRA account and that instead I MUST purchase gold coins.
He did not mention that there was an exorbitant markup associated with buying the coins. On 1/11/2010 I paid Goldline $59,224.74 to purchase coins that I was lead to believe were worth $59,224.74. By the time I got my first statement at the end of January I realized that my “investment” was now worth $35,435.45.
That was a loss of $23,789.29 (about 40% of what I paid) in less than 1 month. During this time, the price of gold had risen considerably so I contacted Goldline to try and understand what had happened. Even at this point the salesperson was not upfront with me and did not divulge the fact that the coins had been marked up to begin with.
In essence, I had lost 40% of my retirement money to this company which had acquired my money through what I would later learn is know as “theft by false pretense”. In other words they stole my money by convincing me to give them my money based on information that they knew to be untrue”.
In 2012, Goldline was found guilty of theft by false pretense, they used false advertising, and conspiracy. After all this it is but natural to think that Goldline was persecuted, but on the contrary the Santa Monica city attorney got an injunction against Goldline which basically said that they needed to stop doing what they had been doing. Also they were ordered to refund the money they swindled from some 43 people.
The person whose review is narrated above says:
“I am one of the probably hundreds if not thousands of people who never got a dime back from these criminals. I guess I can’t officially call them criminals since all the executives were cleared of criminal charges, and basically Goldline got a little slap on the wrist and were told to stop doing bad things. Must be a pretty cozy relationship between Goldline and the Santa Monica city attorney’s office”.
In Goldline’s response it is stated that “Goldline has never been found guilty of malpractice”. However when you Google “Goldline Lawsuit” you will be able to read for yourself what are the charges against them. This company was caught stealing people’s money and nothing was done about it, a really sorry state of affairs. Even to this day when you want to access their web site it returns an error report. It’s an advice to all prospective investors….. Please, steer clear of this company!