How to Avoid Gold IRA Scams

Investing in a Gold IRA can be a great way to diversify your portfolio and protect your assets. However, there are some unscrupulous people in the industry who are looking to take advantage of those who don’t know how the process works. Here’s what you need to know about Gold IRA scams so you can avoid them. 

Common Gold IRA Scams You Need to Know

No one wants to be scammed when investing their hard-earned money. Unfortunately, investment scams are all too common. To protect yourself, it’s important to know how to recognize a scam if you encounter one. Here are some of the most common Gold IRA scams out there.

Risk-risk and guaranteed profits

One of the most common Gold IRA scams is when a company promises guaranteed returns. No matter what type of investment you are making, it is always important to remember that there is no such thing as a guaranteed return. If a company is promising risk-free guaranteed profits, it is probably too good to be true and should be avoided, especially if they’re resorting to bully tactics to get you to sign up with them.

Lack of transparency

Another common scam involves companies that charge exorbitant fees for setting up and managing your Gold IRA account. While it is normal for companies to charge fees for their services, make sure that you read the fine print carefully before signing any contracts or agreeing to any terms with a company. Be aware of any hidden or extra fees that may be included in the contract. 

Bait and switch scam

Beware of any company that is pressuring you to make a decision quickly or enticing you with promises of quick and easy profits. Occasionally, you may see a deal that seems too good to be true, but when you’re signing up with their program, they may ask for more money than originally agreed upon or convince you to buy something else. These schemes are often referred to as “bait and switch” scams, and their goal is to force you into their programs before you fully realize what’s going on. If a company seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

Counterfeit coins scam

Be aware of any companies that are selling counterfeit coins at inflated prices. Counterfeit coins are often made from inferior metals and are not worth the money they are asking for. If a company is selling coins that seem too cheap, do your research to make sure that the coin is authentic before making any purchase. 

Also, make sure that the companies you’re working with are located inside the United States. Most companies that sell counterfeit coins are not located in the US, making it hard for law enforcement agencies to track them down. Essentially, they’re not held accountable for any losses you incur due to their fraudulent behaviour because they’re out of the country. 

counterfeit coins

Gold that is not IRA-eligible

Make sure that any gold you purchase is eligible for an IRA.

In order for a gold bar, coin, or round to be deposited into an IRA, it must have a purity of at least 0.995%. Additionally, only certain types of bars and coins are eligible, so be sure to do your research before purchasing, otherwise, you may end up with a product that does not qualify and lose out on potential profits.

Make sure that you also understand that “high collector value” gold coins do not exist for IRAs, so don’t let a salesman tell you otherwise. The only thing that matters is the purity of the gold.

Home storage gold IRAs

Much like IRA-ineligible gold, any company that is offering a “home storage” gold IRA is likely to be running a scam. IRS rules dictate that only certain custodians are allowed to hold gold IRA assets, and home storage is not one of them. Any company that is telling you otherwise is likely running a scam and should be avoided. 

And many more

While these are some of the most common Gold IRA scams out there, it is important to remember that there are many other types of scam operations out there like false endorsement claims, unsuitable rollovers, and Ponzi schemes. Whenever doing business with any business, it is important to do your research and make sure you are dealing with a reputable and trustworthy company.

5 Ways to Avoid Gold IRA Scams

Gold is a valuable commodity, and because of that, it has been the target of many scams over the years. If you are looking to invest in gold through a Gold IRA, here are 5 tips on how to avoid gold IRA scams. 

  1. Research companies thoroughly before investing: Make sure you investigate the reputation and track record of any potential companies you are considering working with. Be sure to read reviews and customer testimonials, and make sure you understand their fees and any other costs associated with the investments. 

You can also make sure they are reputable by checking their Better Business Bureau rating and reading customer reviews online. You should also check with the US Mint or other government agencies responsible for regulating precious metals investments for any warnings about fraudulent activity or complaints against the company or individual broker. 

  1. Be wary of too-good-to-be-true offers: If a company is offering you an investment opportunity that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be suspicious of any companies that offer overly generous returns with little to no risk. 
  2. Know your investment options: One of the most important steps in avoiding gold IRA scams is understanding what options are available to you when investing in gold. Make sure you understand the IRS rules, as well as which types of gold, are allowed in an IRA.
  3. Understand the Fees and Costs Involved: Gold investments come with costs such as commissions, storage fees, and taxes that must be considered when making an investment decision. Make sure that all costs associated with your investment are clearly outlined before entering into a contract or agreement with a broker or company. 

Ask questions about any costs that seem excessive or unexplained, as this could be an indication of fraud. Be aware of hidden fees such as administrative charges or maintenance fees that may not be disclosed until after the purchase has been made.


  1. Don’t be rushed: Scammers often prey on people by trying to pressure them into making quick decisions. Be wary of any company that pressures you into making an investment decision. Reputable companies will be happy to answer all your questions and give you the time you need to make an informed decision. If a company is trying to rush you or refusing to answer your questions, it is probably best to stay away from them. 


By staying alert and doing your due diligence when investing in gold, you can protect yourself from gold IRA scams and ensure that your investments are secure. Be sure to research any companies or brokers you are considering working with thoroughly, understand the fees and costs associated with each investment option, and never be rushed into making a decision. By following these guidelines, you can make sure that your gold investments are safe and secure.