Beware of “Gold Buy Back” Investment Firms
The story starts a few months back when I had received several calls from telemarketers that claimed that their company is having some kind of celebration and wanted to invite me to listen to their 45 minutes presentation in return I will get $800 branded bags voucher or $50 Takashimaya shopping voucher.
I had several such calls before and I had ignored most of them but this two particular companies “The Gold Guarantee” & “Asia Pacific Bullion” are very very persistent in their calls and called repeatedly sometimes twice in a day.
The telemarketer told me in order to be eligible to get the Takashimaya voucher you need to earn more than $4000 a month and I told him that I do not earn that much but the telemarketer says it’s ok just “lie” about my income before the presentation.
In desperation to stop the telemarketer from calling me again, I caved in to their request…unwillingly and since I can get free vouchers…so why not.
The company “The Gold Guarantee” is my first visit located at 42A Boat Quay Singapore 049831 looks filled with people & sales very similar to many MLM pyramid & Time Share decoration.
First the presenter offered me a “tour” of the office with posters of their CEO Mr Lee Song Teck and news paper cutting of him doing an interview about gold investment and how he became rich at 33 years old.
While doing that the presenter offered me a cup of coffee while trying to coax me to relax and eventually sit on a classic 3 chairs table formation.
First, the presenter talk to professionally and tried to find out my “interest” while “interrogate” me on my income & etc.
Eventually, the presenter showed me their gold buy back investment plan with incredible monthly rebates with almost no risk….I can hold on to the physical gold while I get x percent of rebate yearly!
I asked him how come got such good deal, he said the company is using our money to buy more gold to trade in the market and getting more in return and also claimed that their CEO Lee Song Teck have certain amount of gold and etc.
Then the most incredible thing is when I ask him if I can buy the gold from Gold Guarantee, take the gold and sell off to the open market can I still have the ability to get rebates monthly (I think)?
That makes my eyes go bigger, if I don’t have the mantra that there are no free lunch in this world…and got greedy…I might be already in debts borrowing to buy gold from Gold Guarantee.
I said I will consider and get back to him and left and he did give me the $50 takashimaya voucher that I used to buy some grocery 😀
Then comes the persistent calls again and this time from “Asia Pacific Bullion Pte Ltd” the telemarketer strangely sounded like from the same people from “The Gold Guarantee” with the same call opening and descriptions except the company name is different.
This time I went to 300 Beach Road #33-04/05/06 The Concourse, Singapore 199555 with the promise of $50 Taka voucher or $700 branded bags voucher (which when on the phone is shopping voucher) and a nokia phone in return of a 45 minutes presentation.
I went in and this time is pretty comfortable sofa and a young lady comes in to attend to me and she offered me a cup of water which was passed to me by her colleague.
She went on talking to me about the gold and went through the discussion and so on…after a while I asked her does is her company “Asia Pacific Bullion” have any subsidiary or sister company?
She said no, not that she know of…then I proceed to ask her who their CEO is…and to my surprise their CEO is the same guy Mr Lee Song Teck from “The Gold Guarantee”!.
After a few more small talk, she message her “manager” to come to talk to me and the manager said the same thing about not knowing that Mr Lee Song Teck have the other company “The Gold Guarantee” and will get back to me.
I told both of them that I will do my little investigation and if I never call them back then it means I am not interested.
I went out of the door to the receptionist and the receptionist claimed that the takashimaya voucher had ran out and proceed to give me the “$700 branded bags voucher” and a nokia phone.
I thought nothing of it and later I found out that the two $350 vouchers are basically worthless as you need to spend at least $1000 per voucher in order to use and the expiry is in a few days time and the Nokia phone is practically worthless too with resale value of only $10 or less.
Then when I reached home, I tried researching more about both companies “The Gold Guarantee” & “Asia Pacific Bullion” have the same CEO Mr Lee Song Teck.
I posted the following photo in facebook.
I think nothing of the “experience”
After a few weeks…I got constant & persistent calls from the same group of telemarketers several times a day with me telling them their company even before they finish their opening speech.
Then one of them BEG me to go to their presentation so that she won’t get fired….I told her…I had been to the presentation already by “Asia Pacific Bullion” and should be not eligible for the vouchers.
She insisted that I still can get the voucher just don’t mention that I had been to ANY GOLD presentation before and it should be fine…and the company & location is different.
Singapore Precious Metals Pte Ltd (200804906H)
138 Robinson Road, #09-06/10, The Corporate Office, SG 068906
Being a soft hearted individual, I went to that presentation and I immediately regretted going.
The receptionist is the SAME RECEPTIONIST from Asia Pacific Bullion!
I went through the motion and this time I simply listened to the full 45 minutes and I waste another 15 minutes to talk about why I think the economy & oil and more will go haywire….and purposely waste her time.
She got a message on her smart phone and her face turned blue and quickly concluded the presentation and ushered me to the receptionist.
This time I saw plenty of other “victims” were either waiting to enter or waiting to get the vouchers, the receptionist looked VERY BUSY and delayed giving me the “vouchers”.
On my second request than was I given the “$800 branded bags voucher and the nokia phone”, I asked that I had mentioned to the telemarketer that I wanted Takashimaya voucher but she claimed that the takashimaya voucher had ran out!! (sounds pretty familiar).
Note: I’m the first to arrive to the presentation before ANY ONE ELSE, FIRST TO LEAVE…and the takashimaya voucher had ran out…. -_-!!
The weird thing is Singapore Precious Metals Pte Ltd (200804906H) is not in the MAS investor alert list …yet.
From the website of “Singapore Precious Metals Pte Ltd“, the about us didn’t even bother to mention the full name of the company CEO except for a short “Mr. Tan”.
Then came the torrent of news about Genneva Gold Scam!!
For those who do not understand Mandarin,
- Genneva Gold is in trouble and unable to fulfill its monetary and gold obligations to its customers.
- Amount of gold involved is suspected to be more than 500kg.
- Company declined to be interviewed and only allow buyers and their sales consultants to enter its premises.
- Their scheme works by allowing customers buy gold from Genneva at 20-30% price above spot rate, but the company will give a cash rebate of 2% every month.
- Customers given many reasons for delay in payment. They were given “payment vouchers” which were not redeemable.
- Lawyers warn that customers dealing in such schemes should always be aware of the full terms and conditions, and more importantly the financial strength of the company. There is a lawsuit ongoing.
- CASE reports that complaints against such companies have been on the rise and they are concerned about the companies.
- As the schemes are not regulated, they do not fall under the purview of MAS. However, at least three of these companies have been already included in the MAS investor alert list.
- Customers relating their experiences and unhappiness.
- A group of 20+ investors have gone to CAD to ask for help. The police declined any comments as to whether investigations have commenced or not.
- Another two gold companies (The Gold Guarantee and Asia Pacific Bullion, both owned by Lee Song Teck) have offered rescue or buyback plans for affected Genneva customers. Customers are required to join their schemes to get a good price.
- The public is warned to check the financial strength of these companies before doing any business with them. These two companies are actually operated by the same person Lee Song Teckand they are also on the MAS alert list.