The Mining Claim and Gold Scam Hits Just Keep Coming (Part 2)

So here we go again brothers and sisters. Back to the gold and mining claim scam routine that infests many (if not most) online buyer-seller venues. So be forewarned and be smart as you read the following.

"Fools Rush in..."

Despite what I wrote about in my previous post here in Bedrock Dreams, just this morning I received an e-mail from someone asking me where they could buy a mining claim. Yes, really. My response to this individual is the same response I just gave to all of you (yet again) regarding "buying" a gold mining claim. DON'T! Forget all about it and do the legwork for finding, researching, and filing a claim yourself. That's your best bet and the safest path to follow. There are just too many scammers, con men, and rip off artists out there in the claim realm for me to advise anything else. And anyone who doesn't want to heed my advice is free to do their own risk, that is. This is one area I don't back off on nor will my opinion be changed despite any minor evidence to the contrary. Buying a gold claim is very risky business these days as I've said again and again. Remember, "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."

 (Looks good but is it on the up-and-up?)

2) DO NOT buy gold in any form on eBay or other online auction or buyer/seller sites. I realize this is a blanket statement that by its very nature includes the honest dealers in online venues so my apologies to that ever-shrinking segment of online commerce. And no, I'm not talking here about the big "brick-and-mortar" stores or shops that sell online...they stand to lose too much by practicing scams when it comes to selling gold, gold bullion, gold jewelry, coins, etc. online. Sure, you can get lucky and find yourself dealing with an honest and forthright individual on eBay or other sites, but if you want to "foolproof" yourself from getting ripped off or scammed when it comes to all things gold (or numismatic coins as well) I have to say that you should always deal with a real person or a real shop and forget about trying to get a mining claim or "gold" deal on eBay or other online sites. Again, I have no bone to pick with eBay and I am forced to use their name because they are one of the largest (the largest?) online auction or buyer/seller sites out there. As I said in my previous post, eBay is on the up-and-up and they get a bad rap at times because of the thieves and scammers that prey on the unsuspecting in eBay's digital hallways. To be entirely fair here, it's not only those who sell on eBay or other online sites who scam others. There are also plenty of instances where buyers scam the seller! Thievery runs both directions I reckon.

 (Unfortunately for eBay and you, the site is infected with blood-sucking parasites.)

Heed Those Old Sayings

I've written in the past about the dangers in buying purported gold nuggets on eBay and elsewhere. By the way, this post was also published in a Russian mining trade magazine as well as in the Western Mining Alliance's monthly bulletin. If you didn't read this post on gold nugget scams and how they're perpetrated, I highly recommend you do so. Like the post title says, the "the gold scam hits just keep coming" and the fake nugget shell game is just one of those scams. But what many people don't realize is that there are numerous other online scams involving gold jewelry, gold bullion, and yes, gold and silver numismatic coins. And here's something else to file away inside your brain: people (yes, like you and I) get on eBay and other online auction or buyer/seller venues looking for a deal. The hustlers, scammers, and con men online realize that this "something for nothing" or "something for very little" attitude is their best ally when it comes to perpetrating a scam. Certain people will always jump at the chance when something is being sold at a price that seems too good to be true, especially when it comes to all things gold. Once again, heed the age-old admonition that states if something sounds too good to be true...well, it probably is. But what really gets me is that certain online scam artists are so arrogant they don't even go this "cheapie" or pseudo-deal route and instead charge premium prices for their fake gold items! Those who buy from these thieves are true evidence of P.T. Barnum's statement that "A sucker is born every minute."

 (P.T. Barnum had it right.)

Headers and Comment Threads

Lately some of the most frequent gold scams online involve sellers who vend fake gold coins and gold bullion. Wow! Because of gold's high price these days you know these are probably some big-time "burns" for those folks getting scammed. We're talking hundreds if not thousands of dollars in certain instances. Lest you doubt me, allow me to list a few online headers and comment threads involving online gold and coin scams on eBay alone:

"Possible fake gold being sold on eBay again."

"How scammers run rings around eBay." 

"Coin scams on eBay."

"Don't buy gold and silver coins on eBay."

"Counterfeit (fake) Gold Eagle bars and coins in unbelievable scam on eBay."

"Dozens of fake gold rings sold in fine jewelry on eBay"

I think you get the picture here. And again, I don't mean to single eBay out in this regard but I do use them as an prime example because they are the biggest and most frequently used online buying/selling venue out there.

Yep, You Heard Right

So let's talk about some of the current seller gold scams being run on the unwary and unsuspecting online these days. One that's caught a lot of attention lately is the purveying of fake gold bullion bars. Evidently some of these fake gold bullion pieces (gram or multi-gram bars, various rounds including .25, .50, and one ounce rounds, etc.) are being fabricated in surprise there. Some of these fakes are lead or copper covered with a fine veneer of .999 gold wash as are certain silver bullion pieces handled the same way. In other words the silver gets turned into "gold" and the disparity of paying 12, 13, or 15 dollars an ounce for silver as such and silver as gold is huge. Got that picture in your mind's eye, do ya? This is essentially the way many placer nugget fakes are handled as well. By the way, silver jewelry that's coated with a gold wash is often called "vermeil." So if someone ever uses that term in your presence you now know what it means. Anyhoo, quite a few buyers on eBay and other online sites have been burned this way. Unbelievably, some of the fakes coming out of China are base metal covered with a very finely detailed gold metal or even detailed plastic layer! Yep, you heard right. Once you cut, tear, or peel that fake covering away the jig is up and you just blew boo-coo folding green on absolute shit. Un-f'ing-believeable. Once again, this is why it's so difficult and dangerous to purchase gold bullion, coins, or placer nuggets online. You have to shell your money out BEFORE you receive your item and by the time it reaches you...well pard, you've already been had. Sure, sometimes with a credit card you can stop payment, but generally most folks are too slow on the draw for these fake gold gunslingers. On the flip side, when you deal with a reputable brick-and-mortar shop your chances of getting ripped off go down almost to nothing, especially if that shop has been in business for a reasonable amount of time.

(Someone just got burned.)

That's it for now. In my concluding post of this series I'll be talking about numismatic ("collectible") coins and most importantly, the new upsurge in the big semi-scam of selling "gold ore" on eBay and other online venues.

Until then, rest easy.

(c) Jim Rocha 2019

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. Sad, but you know anytime anything is of value, gold ,antiques, guns, stamps, name it, someone will find a way to counterfeit or fake it in some way. Luckily, I think the majority of folks out there are honest, but there are plenty that are not, and some that don't know for sure themselves!

    Buying a patented mine claim, gold or not, probably wouldn't be such a bad thing....would it? The land itself has value, I guess as long as the price wasn't too high? Somewhere, I have a deed to one square foot of ground in North Pole Alaska Ha!

    1. Right on Gary. Patented claims? Yep, you own the land too but they are very expensive and in short supply.


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