Golden Investment Rule: Check Before Investing in Gold, Silver, Precious Metals – (registration)

Even for a skeptical investor, the warning signs about scams in gold, silver and precious metals are hard to spot. Some tips to protect yourself and your investments from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

(Sponsored content) People don’t like to think they could fall for investment scams. We’re too smart, too savvy. We were diligent about our research. But the truth is fraudsters invest a lot of time in manufacturing a convincing façade. The best way to help protect yourself is to be informed – understand the risks of the investment, closely monitor your account, and make sure your financial professional is registered with a state or federal regulator, or a self-regulatory organization such as the National Futures Association (NFA) or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Understanding the lengths fraudsters will go

Hunter Wise Commodities, prosecuted by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), is a bold example of the great lengths scammers will go to wreak havoc on investors.

Until 2013, the proprietors of Hunter Wise touted themselves as operators of a prosperous precious metals investment company, but in actuality, they defrauded thousands of hard-working investors to the tune of $46 million. The operation included a convincing sales staff, a storage facility in Delaware, partner brokerages such as NewBridge Alliance, and a sophisticated online presence. They thought through every last detail, right down to faked statements and company brochures. It looked like an impressive operation. The problem: there was never any gold, silver, platinum, palladium, or copper.