Fox News Viewers Scammed Into Spending Retirement Savings on Overpriced Silver Coins: Report

Seniors who clicked ads on Fox News' website are allegedly being fleeced of thousands of dollars, which they traded for silver coins worth a quarter of what they paid.

The report from Quartz focuses on the experience of a senior named Cheryl, who clicked on some banner ads on the Fox News website, to be routed to a company called Chase Metals which appeared to be associated with the network according to the banner ads.

Within 24 hours, Cheryl was called by a representative saying they were from Chase Metals. Calling numerous times and trying to bond with her by discussing the Fox News programs she enjoys, the representative slid into her daily life before delivering a hard-sell pitch, which Cheryl said was "extremely high pressure."

Among other things, the salesman informed her that President Trump's policies would devalue the current worth of the dollar and she'd lose money if a recession hit, mentioning a nonexistent law that would allow the government to strip Americans of their savings.

The Chase Metals representative's solution? Transfer $83,000 from her 501k and buy coins from Chase Metals to be held in a special IRA that would allow a broader range of material investments. She bought an additional $63,000 in physical coins, which were later delivered to her home.

But when Cheryl checked in on her IRA, it turned out that her holdings were worth less than a third of the $83,000 she'd spent; the value of the metal in the coins she'd purchased was less than the price she'd paid for them. While she eventually regained the $83,000 of her original investment, she ultimately still lost $25,000, money she had to make up for by selling back the coins she'd bought to Chase Metals at a reduced price. Because of the lost money, Cheryl and the two grandchildren she's raising are currently living off of Cheryl's Social Security checks.

silver coins
Chase Metals allegedly overcharged for silver coins worth a quarter of what customers paid for them. Getty

Cheryl filed a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau through a Freedom of Information Act request. It turns out that Chase Metals has already been under investigation by various state regulators, who accuse the company of fraud or illegally offering investment advice without being registered in their states to do so. Multiple seniors have lost money investing with Chase, buying metals that had been marked up in value to up to 200 percent.

Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia all have cases pending against the company as of press time, with the state of Texas declaring that Chase Metals had violated state law.

A Facebook spokesman said to Quartz that the deceptive ads had "no place" on the website.

"Over the past year we have removed pages and their associated ad accounts, but the people behind these ads continue to intentionally break our rules," he said.

A Chase Metals—the sister company of metals.com—representative strongly denied all of Quartz' accusations, telling them it "takes an honest approach with its customers."

A Fox News spokesperson told Quartz that "Fox News has never had a relationship with Metals.com or any of its associated aliases, and we plan to further explore our legal options regarding this matter."

UPDATED: 11/19/2019 3:45 p.m.: With a statement from Fox News.

Fox News Viewers Scammed Into Spending Retirement Savings on Overpriced Silver Coins: Report | News