Don't Mail Gold

Last Updated Mar 5, 2010 8:08 PM EST

By now we've all heard the copious complaints about Cash4Gold, which has been written up in every news outlet ranging from Money Watch to the Los Angeles Times.

Now a reader complains about Augustus Gold and Silver. The company's web site says it will turn your gold into cash in 24 hours. Tara Masters, a Money Watch reader from Anchorage, says that's as far from the truth as you can get.

She sent a one-ounce Canadian Leaf Maple coin to Augustus in November of 2009 and still hasn't heard a word, she says. She checked them out carefully--checking with the Better Business Bureau and emailing the owners--before she sent in the coin. They promised about $150 more than her local pawn shop and said they had pre-paid FedEx shipping.

"They sounded so legitimate," Masters says. "I felt so blindsided."

Since then, she's repeatedly called and emailed the company without response. I called the number listed on their web site today to hear: "This number has been temporarily disabled."
Masters thought she'd done all the due diligence to get the best price for the coin because she had called several local companies and they all were offering a little less than Augustus.

"Now I understand why--it was probably a legitimate price," she says. "I feel like an idiot, but I'd like to save other people from getting taken like this."

Masters advises anyone else trying to sell an asset to do it in person. Find a local jeweler or pawn shop. Don't give up your asset before you have their cash in your hand.