As we've learned in our Texas rare-coin fraud litigation office, coin fraud is a huge problem across the country. Luckily, the state of Minnesota is taking the lead and putting measures into place that protect consumers from shady coin-fraud dealings.
Minnesota has a reputation as a national coin-fraud hot spot, and lawmakers have begun to take practical steps toward preventing bad deals and consumers being taken advantage of. In 2011, a Star Tribune series drew attention to the rampant coin fraud. Since then, Attorney General Lori Swanson has advocated aggressively to put safeguards in place in Minnesota. These new safeguards will put Minnesota at the vanguard in fighting coin fraud.
New laws began rolling out on August 1 to crack down on shady telemarketers selling coins as investments and to make the state a national model for policing a "troubled, under-the-radar industry that often targets senior citizens." Now, most coin sales operations will have to post a surety bond, which will help victims recover money. Key details, like the precious metal content of the coins, must be disclosed, and they should be delivered within a certain required time frame. Starting next year, firms will have to register with the state, do background checks on employees, and prevent hiring individuals convicted of financial crimes in the past decade.
"Coins are being pitched as investments to consumers, and this modernizes the law to match the marketplace," said Swanson.
Have you been a victim of coin fraud? Be sure to request a free copy of attorney Bill Voss's book, Coin Fraud - Is Your Investment at Risk?