$5 million in restitution available to customers of local coin dealer
U.S. Money Reserve to reform sales practices in compliance with Texas Attorney General
AUSTIN, Texas - Nov. 23, 2011 – Following an investigation conducted by the Texas Attorney General’s Office, Austin-based U.S. Money Reserve Inc., doing business as United States Rare Coin & Bullion Reserve, must provide $5 million in restitution to consumers. The settlement was finalized through an assurance of voluntary compliance signed by the company and the state of Texas last week. Additionally, the company must reform its sales practices to include additional disclosures regarding the coins sold to consumers.
Consumers who purchased qualifying proof or commemorative coins from U.S. Money Reserve between May 1, 2005 and Dec. 31, 2010 may be entitled to a refund. Consumers must contact U.S. Money Reserve at 1-800-867-6101 for information on how to return their coins and receive their money back.
Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin issued a press release warning consumers about the company in March. U.S. Money Reserve currently has an F-rating partly due to advertising issues found by BBB. Click here to view the company’s current BBB Business Review.
Consumer complaints received by BBB mirror the allegations found by the state. Consumers complained they contacted U.S. Money Reserve for government issued coins "at cost" and were sold other, more expensive collectible coins which were represented as being a better investment. Consumers further alleged they found out through independent appraisal that the collectible coins were not worth the price they paid for them.
Generally, consumers contact BBB to request help with returns, exchanges or to resell their coins. BBB files indicate U.S. Money Reserve generally responds to consumer complaints by explaining the return policy on the coins, and in some cases offering full refunds. BBB reminds consumers to fully research any investment opportunity before paying a significant amount of money. Specifically before investing in coins, keep the following tips in mind:
· Research the history of the specific coin you are interested in purchasing. Advertised claims such as “rare” or “in limited supply” may not be indicative of how many coins are available. Shop around to find how frequently the coin appears on the open market and how much it is selling for.
· Consider consulting with a financial adviser. Many banks offer gold bullion investing or have staff that specialize in financial planning.
· Be wary of high pressure sales tactics. Refuse to "act now." Do not buy anything until you have an opportunity to compare prices offered by reputable coin dealers in your area. Steer clear from sales pitches that minimize risk and sales representatives who claim that written risk disclosures are just formalities required by the government, and therefore not necessary.
· Be wary of buying bullion or coins that will not be delivered to you. Companies may recommend your coins be stored at a "secured facility," by the seller or a third party. When you buy coins without taking delivery, you face the risk they do not exist, are not of the quality described or not properly insured.
To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit BBB.org.
About Better Business Bureau:
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Contact BBB serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin at (512) 445-4748.