Monday, November 24, 2008

Please Don't Over Spend

Do you have a coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

This news story came across the my nightly news and it is one of the main reasons I started this blog. Buying coins is a treacherous game if you don't do some research. Several scam artists in Long Island got $60 million from the unaware.


9 To Be Arraigned In Long Island Coin Scam

ROB HOELL REPORTING via WPIX.com

November 24, 2008

COPIAGUE, N.Y. - Three brothers, a brother-in-law, and six others were rounded up by U.S postal police in raids that happened early Monday morning.

The Long Island men are accused of running an elaborate scam by defrauding hundreds of senior citizens across the country.

Officials say the group operated out of a Copiague store front, and other Long Island locations, aggressively telemarketing elderly men and women mostly in the Mid-West. The senior citizens were tricked into investing their life savings into what they believed were rare coins.

"Many of the seniors were told that these coins would increase in value and that there were investors lining up to buy the coins from them," said U.S. Postal Inspector Allan Weissmann.

Postal inspectors say the men were ripping off seniors for the past seven years to the tune of $60 million.

Michael Romano, along with his brother Joseph who has yet to be arrested, are said to be the masterminds behind the ruthless scam that emptied bank accounts and shattered dreams.

People who work near "All American Coin" on Montauk Highway in Copiague tell us they always suspected something wasn't on the level.

"Nobody was allowed in," one nearby worker said. "No customers off the street."

Postal inspectors say victims were over charged between 80-90% of what the coins were really worth.

"When they called to find out when they would be able to sell their coins, they were actually convinced to buy additional coins," Weissman said. "They were told this is what the investor wanted, so they would buy more coins and be in debt at an even high rate."

Postal inspectors say a woman in Chicago who recently passed away was scammed out $1.5 million dollars.

When I quote prices it is the amount that you would pay if you wanted buy the exact same coin. This is not a buyers price and can often vary in value depending on where you live. I use the word "about" to let you know this is an educated guess.

I understand times are tough and you want to make some quick money but coins are generally not a great investment especially under $10,000. I love finding coins because I lose nothing plus when I buy it's for enjoyment.

Ask here, ask at a forum, just ask before getting thinking you're about to score the big one.

UPDATE:

|carl.macgowan@newsday.com

HOW THE SCAM WORKED

What the defendants are accused of:

INFLATING COIN VALUE. The men are accused of telling buyers that the coins (often Benjamin Franklin half dollars) were in better condition than they really were. Coins were often worth 10 percent of what buyers were told.

SELLING 'WASHED' COINS. Chemically "washed" coins look like they're in mint condition, but have less value.

TARGETING VICTIMS. Police say the men identified customers as "whales" - those to whom they could sell hundreds of thousands of dollars in overgraded coins. One woman paid $478,622 for coins worth $52,691.

HIGH-PRESSURE SALES. Convincing purchasers to buy more coins by saying they had investors lined up to buy them at higher prices. But when time came to resell the coins, the defendants would say the investors had "backed out."

One victim, identified as John Doe No. 2, paid about $350,000 for multiple rolls of coins, a federal complaint said. An independent appraiser later assessed the coins' worth at between $15,000 and $25,000.


Do you have a coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

17 dollars worth, for Comments/Questions click here.:

James UK said...

B@stards...

Over here, there is a particularly nasty practice called "sniffing", where crooks will go from door to door (usually pretending to deliver flyers etc.) and lift the letterboxes and "smell" the air / house.

Apparently, the smell of a house occupied by elderly people has a particular scent, and they will note these, targeting them later for confidence trick scams etc. and taking note of any houses that smell of "dogs" to avoid etc.

Some horrible people around... *sigh*

Man said...

That is messed up.

Over here it is very easy to get public and private records of the elderly who have money. After a few calls these scammers can get more history on their target then the victims even knows.

Anonymous said...

question...I have a 1928 d two dollar bill...c90239002a. circulated but not too worn. |What is the value?

Man said...

1928 d two dollar bill...c90239002a. circulated but not too worn.

About $15.00

lunaticg said...

Hi!
Some people really cannot be a human being. They can only thinking about making a scam to peole for a living. What a shame.

Nice blog you have here. See you around.

PS: I don't have any coin to asked right now, will do it if I cannot find its value.

Man said...

Some people really cannot be a human being. They can only thinking about making a scam to peole for a living. What a shame.

Nice blog you have here. See you around.


You have nice blog, love the currency pictures.

1800blogger said...

Could you please contact ken@1800blogger.com

Man said...

No thanks. Scams are not cool.

Rudy said...

Hi,
I got a token from Carl's Jr. is it worth anything? Besides a trip to the bathroom.
If the digits on the on the US bill's code thingy, lol, are repetitive, does it make it more valuable, or not. like my $1 bill L17777077H.
Oh, by the way,have you ever gone to wheresgeorge.com? It's a bill tracking website. If thats even possible.
Oh one more thing, have a merry christmas!!

Rudy said...

almost forgot, and a happy new year!!

Man said...

token from Carl's Jr.
There less then $1.00 in uncirculated but they don't sell much last I saw ten for $0.01 but never knew if anyone bought them.

$1 bill L17777077H.
This one doesn't have any extra value it would have to be consecutive numbers starting or ending in zero. Or symmetric.

wheresgeorge.com
Yes I've been there plenty but I've never found a Where's George bill it seems fun.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too.

Hopefully I'll post new content soon.

Anonymous said...

I have three old bills that I would like to know the value of them:
one dollar from 1917 series -George Washington s on front of bill, serial#A63009066A, back of bill has a x wuth United States of America within the cross.
one dollar bill from 1928 series - serial#A00988856A- George Washington on front of bill
five dollar bill - with Hawaii overprints serial#L66746476A - series 1934 - Abraham Lincoln on front of bill.

Thanks so much.

June at email of **********@roadrunner.com

Man said...

I'll assume a grade of fine.

one dollar from 1917 series -George Washington s on front of bill, serial#A63009066A,
About $100.00

one dollar bill from 1928 series - serial#A00988856A
About $30.00

five dollar bill - with Hawaii overprints serial#L66746476A - series 1934
About $100.00

shojohn said...

I know these guys personally, the case against them is blown way out of porportion, BUYER BEWARE, these victims bought coins at inflated values, they should have had them appraised and returned immediately if they were over valued. I am not saying they ran an ethical business, I did work there for a short time, but it is far from what was made public and the truth will come out at trial.

Man said...

the case against them is blown way out of porportion, BUYER BEWARE...

Agree on that part, a coin book or buying a one issue of Coin Values Magazine could save everyone much of the hassle.

I doubt the truth will come out in the trial but maybe anyone unsatisfied with the sales can get their money back.

Anonymous said...

$$ WAS offered back....D.A. said "No" to it...

Man said...

$$ WAS offered back....D.A. said "No" to it...

Looks like the DA is trying to make a name of themselves.
I think the victims would be better off with the money back and a short jail sentence.