How Cash4Gold Scam Works – From a Former Employee

by Guest on March 22, 2009 · 97 comments

Note From ShoeMoney:I had someone contact me anonymously via the contact form telling me he was a former employee of Cash4gold.  If you are not familiar with Cash4gold its a new thing where you send your old gold to them and they send you cash back.

Anyway he contacted me after seeing a twit of mine about the cash4gold product.  I asked him to write something up and I would post it.  I found it pretty interesting what he said:

Well I am a former employee of Cash 4 Gold. I did not know much about the company before being hired. On my first day of being hired, I was taught the “Cash 4 Gold Scam” from beginning to end.
1. The “refiner’s pack” that is used for you to put your jewelry is “insured for UP TO 100 dollars, ” according to how much they feel your items are worth, NOT appraised at.
2. We receive your “Refiner’s Pack” within 3-4 days, but we are instructed to tell you that it takes “7-10 business days, for us to receive your pack, ALTHOUGH your package has already arrived.

3. Your jewlery gets appraised by hand/magnifying glasses/
a small weight pad, and a bottle of mystery fluid, which your items are then give a value for. Not million dollar equipment or specially trained jewelry experts.

4.  Although the payment (check) for your item is dated within 24 hrs of testing your jewelry, we sometimes DO NOT actually send out the check until up to 3-4 days later.

5.  We claim a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee or your jewelry returned, BUT THE CATCH IS, that the guarantee is contacting us within 10 DAYS from when your check is DATED. (This begins with the time it takes for the accounts payables dept. to issue the check and also including the transit time for you to receive your check in the mail. **** NOTATE THE COMMERCIALS THAT STATE U GET YOUR CHECK IN 24 HRS.***

6. IF you are lucky you will receive your check around the “7th-10th” bus iness day, AND more then 97% of the time Customers are outraged when they lay eyes on the amount of the check. Some Customer’s even receive a check for 0.01 cents. (TRUTH) Thats including items of great value (Diamonds, Platinum/ Gold and Sterling)

7. They sometimes even receive your valuables and like them so much THAT we CLAIM to not have received the items just so the “TOP” people or even “FAVORED” people can get first dibs on your items. From which point we issued an INSURANCE CLAIM for UP TO 100 dollars. GOD FORBID your items are worth more then a 100 dollars, and when you call in to check on the status of your items, we tell you ” YOU SHOULD”VE ADDED EXTRA INSURANCE ON YOUR ITEMS.” We do not have an actual Insurance company, they use customer service reps as the claim department agents.

8. For those who receive there check within the 10 day frame, GOOD LUCK with trying to get in touch with a cust. srvc. rep before your 10 days are up. Which after your 10 days, your items are “ALREADY MELTED” or NO LONGER AVAILABLE FOR RETURN.”

9. For the “LUCKY” people who do get in touch with us within the alloted time frame, we already know what you are calling about. Customers want their items returned, because there check amount is so insultingly LOW. The first thing a Rep will ask you is “HOW MUCH WERE YOU EXPECTING TO GET BACK?” This way we can know how much to “BONUS” you.
Definition of a BONUS: We issue low checks just to have you call us back if you are smart enough to realized that you just got scammed. For the smart one’s we are paid to offer u a bonus up to 3x the original amount of your check and you accept. For ex: Sally Smith receives a check for $27.86 for a rolex watch(which we dont issue value for), a class ring, a ring with diamond chips, a pair of earrings with emeralds, as well as a few sterling silver pieces, and maybe a few items that were really of no value. Now Sally Smith calls the cust srvc dept, where she speaks to a rep who seems so concerned and will see if she can do better with the amount by speaking to a “SUPERVISOR”. We then place the caller on Mute, and speak to our neighbors or doodle on a sheet, or twiddle with our hair for about 45 seconds, while we are supposedly speaking to our supervisor about Ms. Smith’s complaint. We then come back with an offer to “BUMP UP YOUR MELT DATE or any other lies the cust srvc reps can think of, and offer you a total amount of $53.20 which is a little under double the amount of your original check. In which case if you accept, the cust srvc rep makes a 15.00 bonus off of your transaction. If the cust srvc rep offers you under triple the amount of your orig check, she makes 10.oo in bonuses.

10. If you accept the offer, the deal is done, and you are told that the call is recorded(which most of the time, the record button does not work.)Just a way to make your feel binded by a verbal contract. IF you do not accept the deal, you have to return your check, and it takes sometimes up to a month to receive your items back after we receive the check.

11. If you only want the items that we do not find of any value back, you have to pay a 10.00 shipping and handling fee to have your own items returned, which varies depending on sales for that week. IF sales are good, there is no fee, when we are slow, you must pay.
Cash 4 Gold is definitely not a trustworthy or credible company to do business with. You are almost better off taking your items to a local pawn shop or shopping around for other companies. With the economony the way it is, Cash 4 Gold seems to be a way out of financial stress for some, but in actuality becomes a stress of its own. I would advice you to think twice before sending in valuables or items inherited and of sentimental value. Its not worth it. I am not doing this as a way of Bashing their money making process :) but more so to warn everyone.

I guess this guy has posted this a few other places around the internet but I thought it was pretty good info that should be passed on.

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1 Content Writers

Sending gold in the post is, for starters, a really dumb idea.

Never fear, these punks will be tried and sentenced soon enough. It’s against just about every fair trade law there is.

2 IndoContest

Yeah. It’s really dumb if you send gold in the post.
I just wonder the reaction of CPA networks that run this offers. :)

3 Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

That is what I always thought too, how safe can a “safe tech mailer” really be?

4 Fi Lyon

If you’re going to put your gold in the post, at least send it to somewhere decent.

Cats4Gold pays more cat for your tat, guaranteed.

5 steve b

If you can get your government to get off their fat greasy pig ass and do something about it

6 Cooper


This guy who contacted you just copy and pasted an article done a while ago on


7 George

I was going to say the same thing, but I still think its worth posting just to make sure the word gets out. After all, each site can only have 2 results on a Google SERP, so it will take at least 5 sites to totally dominate their first page.

Their ads started showing up on one of my sites via AdSense right around the superbowl, but they dropped off quickly and I haven’t seen them since (nor their TV ads). Here’s hoping they’re on the way out.

8 Ricardo @ Nurture Your Wealth

They must be doing well for themselves, here in Jersey they have an office on the main casino strip down at Atlantic City.

9 Mubin

Im sure that this was on the consumerist as well, but it still good to get information like this out to as many people as possible.

10 DavidG

That copy has been on about 20 to 30 sites already. I found it first on complaintsboard dot com. There is a very interesting piece at indianastatenumismatics dot org/id36.html and a nice reverse SEO bribe from cash4gold to Rob at cockeyed dot com/citizen/goldkit/reputation.shtml It appears that all hell may be breaking loose as rumor has it that Florida Law enforcement is looking at them. My guess is that USPS gets them for mail fraud. Nice job getting the word out to your reader base.
David G.

11 Labrador Retriever

almost makes me wanna take a drive down to one of their offices and kick the @#$% out of somebody working there

12 ways to make money online

This was a fantastic post…

A ONE CENT check..Give me a break…No wonder it’s all on a mail-in basis and not person to person…I bet they would be counting the teeth knocked out if it was personal confrontation after an insulting check…

13 Pyj

fucken scammers! Grrr

14 Vlad


15 pji

I got crazy silly gumby gold!

16 Acai Burn

It is not surprising that companies with affiliate marketing campaigns are using time and different promises to benefit as much as possible from the leads they get.

17 Benidorm

Thanks for this information, It is great to share these stories so perhaps it prevent a few people from beeing scammed

18 Bart

Hey Money I know this topic is basically about bad business Cash 4 Gold in particular but when I read the story I couldn’t help but to think about a software company that I’ve been having trouble with so I’m going to through it out here as a little beware of this company too. The product is a Mac application called Spyder2 which is used as a friend adder for myspace, the application crashes constantly and support only responds when they fill like it and it’s definitely not every email. I was thinking about building a site based on bad reviews solely for that product but I dont really want to put the energy in but when you get bad businesses like this that you PAY for a working item they need to deliver, if not refund and at the very least respond to emails. Anyone else got suggestions I can write about these guys let me know, thanks!

19 jason

I think most mom and pop jewlery stores still buy used gold? I don’t understand why you would want to mail things to someone you saw on a late night commercial? or why you would want to mail things or value to them atleast. I would like to know there market demographic is they are targeting?

20 Labrador Retriever

i’d guess little old ladies, the same who send their savings to help their long lost relatives in nigeria

21 Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

Their demographic is us, the people who are either online or watching TV and are too busy to find another source of getting cash for their old jewelry. Let alone drive to one of these places. Cash4Gold is suppose to be the simple solution but like “anonymous” said it just turns into more of a hassle.

22 Tim

I never trusted these commercials or the fact that you have to send your valuables through the mail. While the mail is usually very reliable, too many people still use the “lost in the mail” excuse. Its convenient for the scammers to say, and you have no proof unless you use certified mail. Someone should put these people out of business.

23 Aditya

Thanks for 11 nice and descriptive points. I am newbie will take bit more time to fully understand.

24 jesse grant

wow that sounds like a messed up business practise.

25 LayupDrill

I cannot say that I am surprised, though many people are doing whatever they can in these economic times to make money. Its no different than those “We Buy Houses” scams.

26 Cash 4 Gold Sucks

Cash for gold sucks. Besides, it is the little old ladies who fall for this crap!!! lol
Cash 4 Gold Scam

27 Cash 4 Gold

hahah, my grandma fell for this. Wait… thats not funny :(

28 BlogAngry

I was knew that cash for gold was a scam…
this people should get jail time

29 Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

Report them to the Better Business Bureau

30 Barry Green

An interesting post…I can honestly say that I have learnt something today !

31 matt

but I saw a superbowl commercial with mchammer????

seriously it is a new virtual pawn shop. Go into any pawn shop in Vegas and you will get the same value, problem is, with a pawn shop you just walk out… with this scam they got you…

There is also an Ipod scam too, sen your ipod in to get recycled and you get a check for 17 cents.

BTW… mchammer is very popular on Twitter, Jeremy, you should try to contact him, via twitter, if he knew it was a scam when he did the commercial… or if he even cared.

Good Post, Jeremy

32 Gold 4 sale

Sending in a rolex watch to these companies is not the wisest move. These cash 4 gold companies are refiners, all they do is melt the gold content. You can get way more money by selling it to a jeweler or on Ebay yourself.
Now if you have a bunch of gold bracelets, necklaces or other jewelry that is broken and were bought from a chain store. you may as well sell them for 60 to 80% of the gold value to a refiner, since that is all they are worth in gold.

33 Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

That makes sense a working item is more valuable than a non working one.

34 free automated directory submission

Too bad that people who need cash in return for their gold do not read this blog. :( If they sell their diamonds for $10, I doubt they would spend it on internet. :)

35 Cash 4 Gold Fags

Thanks for the info. Now im on a look out!

36 Richard V. Burckhardt

Yep, my clueless sister in Mississippi sent stuff to them and then called me for help when she couldn’t contact Cash 4 Gold after a month. Naturally, they claimed the package had never been received. Wish my sister had asked me first. I could have told her it was probably a ripoff. The least she should have done is insure the package. I’m sure she’s not alone, though.

37 Glenn

Back in the late ’70s, when gold doubled in value, I worked for a while buying jewelry from people out of a hotel room.

You’d take out a local ad and hire a security guy. We paid a more or less fair price and resold the gold in bulk.

People would bring all kinds of stuff in, heirlooms, junk jewelry and incredibly, false gold teeth, sometimes still in the dearly departed’s dentures. (You had to burn the teeth out of the dentures, it was incredibly gross.)

Interesting job, though, you heard a lot of amazing life stories, especially from the former Europeans.

Anyone selling gold should get several offers, easily done in most towns. It’s not rocket science. That “mystery fluid” tells you if the gold is real and of what purity.

38 Informixx

The population of Scam sites is now getting bigger as people desire for more money. Sad part is that many people are still being fooled by those sites.

39 Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

So very true, when ever I see “FREE” or “Discounted” anything on the Internet alarms go off in my head.

40 Cheap Cell Phones

The old adage “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is” rings true for Cash4Gold.

I’m starting my own site Gash4Gold…but we’ll discuss that elsewhere. ;-)

41 Benjamin

Anyone who would send gold in to Cash4Gold at this point must be living under a rock! You cant do a search, turn on the tv, or read a newspaper without hearing about all the complaints and how they pay 20 cents on the dollar for gold. Half way intelligent people need to do due diligence and research before blindly giving their valuables away. After much searching I found a site that posts exactly what they pay right up front so there are no surprises. Actually, when I sent my silver and gold in I did get a little surprise…. the price of gold went up so they paid me more than I had calculated. “They” are the Silver and Gold Exchange at

42 Car Vehicle

Hi, Thank you! I would now go on this blog every day! Thanks Car Vehicle

43 Muri l Perfect-Money

I think from the anonymous they should be come from place of nowhere and they find your email from somewhere you already forget,seeing the thread I believe theya re scam and instead receiving the check,I think the options is,the check never reveiled or the check is come with an empty “money” and stated un directory “april Moob”

44 joe gelb

they must hate karma

45 Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

Yeah they should make a List of all the people they screwed on this.

46 Best CSS Gallery

Never heard of this guys. Anyhow, thanks for the info

47 Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

Even though I have no gold or extra jewelry lying around I thought that Cash4Gold looked reputable, I mean its on tv shouldn’t it be? Well I guess a lot of dating sites are online and they are all a scam…

thanks anonymous for the heads up

48 Hampang

it’s too bad… thanks for the information

49 Stephanie DeLuca

Thanks for the info. Why would they have commercials on TV if this is a scam? Since this info is out to the public now I wonder if there will be any lawsuits in the near future.

50 Taris Janitens

In all honesty, I kind of expected this. As soon as I saw the commercial I thought to myself that theres no way that anyone gets anything close to what the jewellery is worth – how else is Cash4Gold going to make money when they resell the stuff you send in?? or melt it I should say

51 Cash4Gold

This is simply a re-posting — word for word — of an entry that was posted elsewhere in October of 2008. It used to be that when an anonymous person made false, defamatory and vicious claims, it was dismissed as a poison pen letter. Now that passes for discourse on the web. Almost every single claim that posting makes is false and malicious.


52 myinternetbusiness

When you see an advert on tv like this you asume it must be genuine, this just goes to show that this is not the case.

Thanks for the info.

53 Jason


54 Chris Jacobson

If what this former employee wrote is actually true, it speaks volumes for the affiliate companies who continue to have Cash4Gold on their networks as an advertiser.

55 ThePokerEconomist

This is absolutely unacceptable to me. Especially during these times… people are thinking they may actually get enough $ for their gold/jewelry to pay for necessities, groceries… infuriating!

56 mdd

i see the commercials a lot in my break room at work. it’s always mid-day, suggesting the target demographic is the soap and talk show watchers. IE my mom and my grandparents, your parents and grandparents, the unemployed, etc.
anyone wish to organize a good tar and feathering?

57 Benjamin

Hey ShoeMoney! You just struck it rich! I see Cash4Gold found the post and put up a rebuttal post on their damage control Blog!
The last blogger to get Cas4Golds attention was offered a nice bribe to remove the post! Look at the MSNBC article here:

58 Kuuzak

If you put a gold Rolex watch in your mailbox you deserve to lose.

59 Kenney Works From Home


that’s so funny. so, true. LOL

60 Matt

BTW the “mystery fluid” mentioned in the article is acid and it is used to determine the purity of the gold in question. This is the origin of the term “acid test”.

Basically any commercial that encourages you to send your valuables through the mail should be sending up red flags immediately. I’m suprised these things aren’t being stolen en masse out of the postal system.

61 Cash4Gold

Matt — Cash4Gold envelopes are white, generic, and without any markings that there are valuables inside or that the recipient is Cash4Gold.

62 Benjamin

Yeah, they expect you to use their cheap, uninsurable Business Reply Envelope with a zip lock baggie to send in your valuables. What a joke!

63 Big Money

You should pay a ton of extra insurance and then send nothing. Afterwards, claim that you lost a lot of gold in the mail and collect some free money.

64 Play Games Win Prizes

Who ever think this was legit actually needs to read a lot more blog posts. Even bloggers like John Chow are still showing advertisements on how to make money quick.

Who knows though, the guy that sent you that “information” is probably just lying because there will never be proof for these sort of things.

That is why I just learn on my own instead of paying :)


65 Medical Aid

Well….I am bummed. I thought I hit it big when I saw the commercial. Been looking for a cash cow….depressing

66 Kenney Works From Home

Oh snaps…. that’s crazy. See you can’t play with people’s money, they get crazy. They’re gonna mess around a bring a real cowboy like fight to their doorsteps.

Dang…ROFL LMAO LOL (Enron)

67 Internet Fax

I saw this on the consumerist I think, you’re right though still good info to pass a long. Good read.

68 ZK@Internet Marketing Blog

Internet is certainly the place of ideas and trial & error method. Any method which clicked will give you very good money and there is no doubt about that.

69 Mike

I was looking through our web stats and found a surge of traffic to our site from this blog. Many thanks to the person who was kind enough to mention and compliment our company. I founded the Silver and Gold Exchange after seeing how the public was being taken advantage of and soon realized that there was a niche in the market for a company that would act with integrity and not use deceptive practices and it is working. Since I know this blog is read by some of the best internet marketers anywhere, I would like to invite you all to contact me if you would be interested in co-creating a JV or Affiliate relationship. Please send a message via the contact form on our site at I welcome all creative ideas as long as they are not deceptive or “spammy”. In the meantime I will be working on an affiliate program and other JV ideas. Best Regards, Mike Ferreira, Founder, The Silver and Gold Exchange

70 Economonkey

What’s depressing is that so many more people are going to fall for this kind of BS while the economy is in such a sorry state. Bottom feeders like this thrive in hard times.

71 Doctor Twitter

Funny thing is..I was thinking about sending my old gold into this crock of Sh^t..luckily i didn’t. They’re obviously making a killing off of the scam..

72 Corey Freeman

Me and my Dad were watching this commercial and I could just swear it was totally sketch. (I wondered if mailing stuff like rolex watches was actually legal, haha.) The business practices they employ are ridiculous, and you have to think about how much money they are scamming out of these people.

Seriously, $0.01 cent checks!? I could sell a rolex to a four year old for 100X that!

73 Johan

Is this an attempt or not for an early April fools.

“when” the guy have the same then and than errors as Mr.ShoeMoney, I have to question Mr. ShoeMoney.


74 Wii Fit News

Interesting, never heard of them thanks for info.

75 Michael Monahan

First of all if you pack up your jewelry and mail it out to anyone without knowing what you are going to get back for it you are an idiot and you deserve to be scammed!

76 Harrisburg Web Design

Big piece on the Today Show this morning about this. I don’t think they told the whole story, based on your “inside info”. It could have been much more provocative. Likely more promotion for them than anything.

77 Make Money Online

And they think that by cheating people they will succeed in the long run, nah!

78 watches

This all feels very similar to the acai berry thing that you posted about…………if people are dumb enough to trust this scam, don’t go whining to anyone else about it. Take responsibility for your own stupid actions.

79 MyInternetBusiness

There are so many scams out there and its just a shame that so many people get burned especially in the current climit.

80 TYCP Entertainment Magazine

Can’t say I’m surprised. I’m always wary about companies like this & Cash4Gold really rubbed me the wrong way. That sucks for all the people that were scammed by them though.

81 Accident Injury Claim

The best way to make investment in the gold market and get involved in it is the buying of e-gold. A person buying e-gold can use it in the same way as real gold as the price of e-gold is same as that of the price of real gold. So, buying e-gold is considered to be same as buying real gold.

82 Toronto personal injury

How do you value gold?

83 Georjina

Has anyone noticed that as the economy gets tighter, the vultures start landing…Cash4Gold is one of about 30 I’ve seen lately. Add them to the ‘Annuity Settlement’ lawyers, the car dealers offering to take back your ’3 month old car’ if you can’t make the payments, on and on.

I can’t wait for the pawnbrokers to get in on the act:)

84 Paul @ HollywoodDJ

FINALLY! somebody said something about this! I knew that it was to convenient how all of a sudden a bunch of companies started offering you the opportunity to send in your gold, where they pay you by weight and they sell it at a premium… yikes…

85 jojo

are not there any real man who puts a bullet in the head of this bitch who set up this whole thing? the peace of shit has to be dead.

86 goldenelement
87 Diabetic Neuropathy :

24K gold gracelets are nice, those gold plated bracelets are nice too but they don’t last as long as pure 24K gold bracelets:,:


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