The “enormous demand and limited supply” of bullion coins during the COVID-19 pandemic have created “a breeding ground for the distribution of counterfeits that is costing unsuspecting investors millions of dollars,” according to the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation (ACEF).
This year, the ACEF has identified and monitored more than 100 websites selling counterfeit coins and precious metals, according to ACEF director Doug Davis.
“Counterfeiters, using sophisticated online marketing techniques, prey on the emotional fears and anxieties of the public. These counterfeiting problems continue to escalate daily, taking advantage of the public’s vulnerability during the COVID-19 crisis stay-at-home and quarantine measures by ramping up online marketing tactics to sell fakes,” said Davis, a former Texas police chief who added recent months have seen “a staggering number of new websites with the expressed purpose of profiting from the pandemic.”
“Data and analysis of these sites have been given to the U.S. Treasury Office of Inspector General at their request as well as provided to Customs and Border Protection and Secret Service. The information is used to identify counterfeiters, criminal organizations and individuals who manufacture or import counterfeits with the expressed purpose of profiting from the pandemic crisis.”
Davis also cautioned potential buyers about acquiring items prices far below their actual market value.
“That should be a red flag for any potential buyers; however, it appears millions of dollars have been lost by unsuspecting investors.”
For more information, visit ACEFonline.org.