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You have all seen those very convincing ads while watching late night television. You know, the ones that tempt you to mail in gold that has been lying around the house in order to get some quick cash?
Well it turns out that this may not exactly be the golden ticket many Americans hoped it would be. Parade reports that the Federal Trade Commission is looking into consumer complaints against mail in gold companies. This comes as a result of complaints by consumers and the pending Cash4Gold lawsuit (which advertises all over television).Such mail in gold companies have consumers mail in their gold, then the companies send an assessment of value, the consumer must agree to this assessed value, and then the companies send the consumer a check for the gold. At least, that is the way it is supposed to operate.
Apparently, these companies have had complaints from consumers that range the gamut from ridiculously low appraisal values, to companies actually not paying for the gold at all. Recently, the Consumerist wrote about how there is a pending Cash4Gold class action lawsuit. Some of the allegations against Cash4Gold in this lawsuit are: fraud and racketeering. The lawsuit claims that Cash4Gold does not follow through with its promise of a 12 day return guarantee and that the company "loses" too many items in spite of the fact that it claims to treat items mailed to it with the highest of care.
In general, fraud is when there is a material misrepresentation made with the intent to deceive the other person. The other person must rely on this misrepresentation and this reliance must cause a disadvantage to the person.
As a result of these claims of fraud, legislators are now speaking on behalf of their constituents. Parade quotes Rep. Anthony Weiner (Dem-NY) as saying that these companies are "getting away with what looks like fraud." He has introduced a piece of legislation that would require these companies to insure items sent in the mail. The proposed legislation would also make it illegal for these companies to melt down the gold jewelry without receiving permission from the customer who mailed it to them.
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