The Minnesota Department of Commerce is warning of a Californian investment scheme that has been cold-calling elderly residents across the U.S.
The DOC says that Metals.com and its various other names have no license as a dealer of gold bullion products or investment advice in Minnesota, and issued a cease-and-desist order preventing it from making any transactions in the state on May 16.
It comes after complaints that the Californian precious metal company has been calling elderly residents "to convince them that their money is not safe with registered brokers and investment advisers and should be moved into precious metal investments."
Minnesota's response comes after Texas issued its own emergency cease and desist order, after the firm had been reported for using "scare tactics and threats," which in one case led to a woman liquidating $850,000 in retirement funds to invest with the company.
"Upon learning of the nation-wide scheme, Commerce investigators acted quickly to issue a cease and desist order against the company," said Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley.
"Nevertheless, Minnesotans must remain vigilant. These financial schemes exploit vulnerable seniors because they are friendly, trusting and more likely to have accessible funds."
Minnesotans have been advised that scammers "exploit fears of a big economic downturn," and any such tactics should be challenged.
It also says residents should take time to make an informed decision with large sums of their own money, and always be wary of anyone who suggests "putting your money in something you do not understand or anyone who urges you to leave everything in their hands."