Message sent, message received: Precious metal marketers agree to FTC settlement

As part of the Federal Trade Commission's ongoing efforts to stop scammers who target older people, the operator of a bogus precious metals telemarketing scheme that bilked millions of dollars from them is permanently banned from selling any investment opportunity under a settlement with the agency.

Using high-pressure sales tactics, Anthony J. Columbo and employees of his companies, Premier Precious Metals Inc., Rushmore Consulting Group Inc., and PPM Credit Inc., told consumers they were offering lucrative investments that were certain to earn significant profits with very little risk of loss. But what they often didn’t tell consumers was that their investments were leveraged: that is, the people were agreeing to buy the metals on credit. What’s more, the investments were typically not profitable and carried a high risk of loss. In fact, most customers — 94% — lost money. Fees and commissions at the start of their transactions, and the daily accumulation of additional fees and interest charges on the leveraged portion of their accounts, drained the equity in their investments. Many customers lost tens — and in some cases, hundreds — of thousands of dollars.

If you’re looking to invest in precious metals, the FTC has some free information you can bank on: Investing in Gold?, Investing in Bullion and Bullion Coins, and Investing in Collectible Coins.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Comments

FTC should never enter into negotiations with any thief on any matter, instead should amend RICO to include assets of all family to 3d degree --- when you negotiate you give up the penalty involved or water it down to nothing, thus you lose an deterrant you might have plus let the wrongdoer
off for peanuts plus you can not this way stop any other wrongdoers who see FTC as a sucker

I buy directly from the Mint- usmint.gov and I don't have problems. This is good if you are into coins of silver or gold.

I NEED TO CHANGE MY EMAIL ADDRESS WITH YOU.

Hi, daisy, If you'd like to get updates from the FTC sent to a different email address, please visit https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USFTC/subscriber/new?preferences=true. You'll need to enter your old email address on the first screen, then you'll be able to make changes to your account.

Doesn;t seem like much of a punishment for the misery and pain they[ve caused so many people. Who negotiated this deal?

The needed investigating because many scams prey upon the elder. I agree with FTC pursuit them and make them pay back what they have cheated people out of their life savings. Remember FTC can't please everyone, they are on the legal side of the law and many people think it is not right, but I agree with FTC. comments from the negative ones will retractable when they get the real scam. I support FTC decisions.

I got a call about a debt I owed an that I've have this huge amount of 3000 something but if I could pay it right away I could pay 700 dollars then we'll I don't have good enough credit for a credit card the are www.mmgassociates.com well I them find in for with the same name. S aying it's a scam the

It's about time the whole precious metals market was regulated more as these practices are fairly common to varying degrees even amongst some of the big names

Where or who do I report suspicious phone numbers that I receive daily?

You can file a complaint with the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint. Registering your phone number in the National Do Not Call Registry reduces the number of unwanted calls you receive. Register your phone number at donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236).

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.