The FBI has recently alerted the public, especially senior citizens, about a sophisticated online scam involving gold bars. This new fraudulent scheme has resulted in over $55 million in losses from May to December 2023, primarily affecting older adults.
In this scam, perpetrators pose as government officials or customer support agents from well-known financial or tech companies. They falsely inform victims that their financial accounts have been compromised. Victims are manipulated into liquidating their assets to purchase gold, silver, or other precious metals. These transactions are often directed towards a specific dealer, who then delivers the gold to the victim’s home.
The twist comes when the scammers send couriers to the victims’ residences or public places to collect the gold, promising to secure it in a protected account. However, once the gold is handed over, the victims lose all contact with the scammers and are left with significant financial losses.
The FBI strongly advises the public to exercise caution with unsolicited communications and to remember that legitimate organizations will never request purchases of precious metals. Victims of such scams are urged to report these incidents to the FBI’s Internet Complaint Center, helping to combat this growing criminal trend.