The Federal Trade Commission has taken action to stop a telemarketing operation that in the past two years, took in almost $9 million from senior citizens by getting them to buy precious metals on credit, according to the FTC.
The FTC charges that Premier Precious Metals, Rushmore Consulting Group, PPM Credit, and the companies' owner Anthony J. Columbo, promised that investing in precious metals would mean big profits fast. The operation did not clearly disclose the full cost and risk, including the likelihood that consumers would subsequently have to pay more money or lose their investment, the FTC alleges.
According to the FTC, most of the customers lost money, and equity in their investments was drained by the fees and commissions at the start of their transactions, as well as by the accumulation of fees and interest on the leveraged portion of their accounts.
If you or someone you know have been a victim of fraud targeting seniors, there is a hotline that launched this past year for seeking help. The number specifically to report financial abuse is 888-303-3297. For more, read our advice on preventing financial elder abuse.