Safe from Scams: Scammers target people with rare coins

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Many have old coins that could be worth thousands of dollars or even more tucked away in envelopes or drawers and there are con men out there looking to rip you off.

"Out of the blue, I started getting calls from coin dealers and metal salesmen," fraud victim Jack said. The call sparked his curiosity about the value of his old coins. He began describing them to Robert Gundy over the phone.

"I really don't know what their value is right now because it's been so long," he said. "They are old, and they haven't been evaluated by a real professional." Gundy seemed knowledgeable and trustworthy - so Jack sent his coins to their company, crescent equity.

Jack didn't expect the next call he received, it was from local police letting him know that Gundy and his colleague Jay Flynn had been arrested for defrauding clients. "I trusted the guy to honor his word and do what he said he would do," Jack said. "Instead, he just grabbed the coins as soon as they hit town."

Jack then did his own research too late to save him from being conned.

"I did look him up on the Internet and saw he had quite a record, a lengthy record," Jack said. "He had been in and out of scams for years."

Inspectors began following bank records and interviewing victims and quickly learned everything was gone. "It was devastating to the victims," United States Postal Service inspector Robert Strande said. "We're talking about retired individuals that lost their retirement, and they don't have the ability to make that money up again."

Jack says he believes he lost, at least, $12,000 in coins and has learned a lesson the hard way. "My big failing was not to check this guy out thoroughly before I dealt with him."

Gundy was sentenced to more than 3 years in prison and was ordered to pay more than $400,000 in restitution to his victims.
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