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SALT LAKE CITY — When Utah residents Stosh and Curtis decided to buy gold last summer, the couple felt confident about the online website they were using to make the purchase.
After all, their first order of gold coins through Bank of Bullion arrived without a hitch.
"With the economy going the way it is we thought it would be wise to have gold," said Stosh. (We agreed not to use their last names.)
"It was a way to save money and invest and it was fun too," Curtis said.
But the second order seemed slow to arrive and when it did arrive it was less than what the couple had purchased. They shipped it back to the company, which was located in Florida, and waited for a new shipment or a refund but neither came. They're out $614.01.
Now emails to the company don't go through, the website is no longer working, and neither the couple's nor KSL-TV's phone calls were returned.
The couple filed a formal complaint with investigators in Florida who have assured the couple their case is being looked into.
While they wait to see if they'll recover their funds, Utah securities regulators are issuing a warning about purchasing gold over the Internet.
The bottom line is no, I don't think purchasing your gold online is probably a good idea.
–Keith Woodwell, director of the Utah Division of Securities
"The bottom line is no, I don't think purchasing your gold online is probably a good idea," warned Keith Woodwell, director of the Utah Division of Securities.
Woodwell suggests investors check with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection for a list of registered gold dealers in Utah. He said buying gold locally allows investors to see what they're getting. He urges buyers to seek advice from a financial adviser first and warns not to base investment decisions on fear about the economy.
"Fear is not the basis for which to make good investing decisions," he said.
To learn about other gold investment pitches the Utah Division of Securities is warning about, go to their website.