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This forum will be a place to bring concerns and questions about penny stock mining companies and their mining claims or to just discuss the merits of individual penny stock mining companies and share/build research on those companies.

Good luck to all those searching for the "mother lode".

For Release:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Nancy Condon (202) 728-8379
George Smaragdis (202) 728-8988

FINRA Warns Investors of Gold Stock Scams

WASHINGTON - The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a new Investor Alert called"Gold" Stocks-Some Investments Mine Your Pocketbook to warn investors about investment scams that promote gold stocks and to provide information on how to invest in legitimate gold investments. With the price of gold bullion at record levels, there has been a proliferation of blogs, websites, YouTube videos and Tweets centered on investing in gold. And while there are legitimate gold investments discussed online, FINRA is concerned that some investors may fall prey to gold-related investment scams.

These gold scams may center on inflated claims regarding the stocks of gold mining companies whose stock value is often based on gold reserves that are difficult to estimate, much less verify. For example, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took legal action against a mining company based in Florida for false press releases claiming that a mining project in Ecuador contained gold reserves worth more than $1 billion.

Gold investments may also be touted in free lunch seminars and pushed by boiler room operations. The SEC charged six individuals for running a recent Ponzi scheme that used investment seminars to bilk 3,000 investors across the United States and Canada out of $300 million. Separately, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) took three actions against precious metals firms, including charging a boiler room telemarketing firm that purportedly purchased more than $23 million of precious metals for their customers.

"Con artists are using the run-up in the price of gold as a hook to part investors from their money. Investors should think twice before investing in any gold investment promising exponential returns, or any company that claims it is a buyout target for other mining companies," said Gerri Walsh, FINRA's Vice President for Investor Education.

FINRA's Investor Alert cautions investors to be on the lookout for any pitch for a gold investment that:

  • claims to tie stock performance to the general rise in gold prices - a rise in gold prices does not guarantee a rise in the price of a gold company's stock;
  • uses scare tactics such as the threat of inflation or an economic meltdown;
  • makes speculative claims based on a new reserve's proximity to an existing reserve; or
  • centers on a company that has changed its name or trading symbol to align it more closely with gold - for example, one company that currently purports to engage in gold mining was originally incorporated to provide golfing opportunities on private courses to nonmembers.

"Gold" Stocks-Some Investments Mine Your Pocketbook also advises investors that while legitimate gold and ETF investments may be an acceptable diversification strategy, these investments can be quite volatile. A heavy concentration of gold investments can leave investors overly exposed and at risk of losing a substantial percentage of their money.

FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business - from registering and educating all industry participants to examining securities firms, writing and enforcing rules and the federal securities laws, informing and educating the investing public, providing trade reporting and other industry utilities, and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and registered firms. For more information, please visit


The problem of fraud in the precious metals mining industry continues to plague Arizona investors. The Arizona Corporation Commission's Securities Division has prepared this bulletin as a guide for the type of questions individuals should ask before investing in any mining program. All investments have risk, and no particular investment is guaranteed not to fail, no matter how diligently an investor has investigated the program prior to investing. Investigation prior to investment can reduce the risk of fraud.
One of the first questions you should ask before investing in a mining program is …

The exact location of the mine site is often not disclosed in many mining investment scams, yet surprisingly people continue to invest in these programs without knowing where the actual mining is to take place.
Press the people who are offering the investment to you (the offerors) for the exact legal descriptions of the site-do not accept a lay description such as "the proposed mine site is located approximately twenty-five miles northwest of Flagstaff, Arizona." That type of description tells you nothing at all about the true location of the site. If the offerors cannot or will not provide you with the exact location of the mine, DO NOT INVEST!!

Once you know the exact location of the mine site, your next question should be …

Usually, offering materials do provide what the offerors claim to be assays, but beware. Assays are only meaningful if they are based upon a systematic and scientific program of ore sampling. An assay based upon one or two ore samples is essentially meaningless it takes literally hundreds or thousands of separate ore samplings to properly evaluate the true potential of a mine site. Also be aware that even an accurate assay only tells you the amount of certain precious metals in a specific ore sample, not the amount of precious metals that can be economically extracted from that minesite or even that sample. No mining or refining technique can
economically extract all of the precious metals present in an ore body.
In reading assay reports, certain "red flags" signal that perhaps you are not receiving accurate information:

Reports indicating the presence of ½ ounce or more of gold per ton or ore. A mine site with ore values consistently this high would represent one of the richest finds of the century! Reports of precious metals not normally found together in the same ore. For example, while gold and silver are commonly found together, gold and platinum group metals are not.
Reports that traditional "fire assay" methods will not give an accurate reading of the precious metals content of the ore, while the offerors' "secret" or "revolutionary" methods will. A fire assay performed in a correct manner will give an accurate reading of the precious metals content of any ore sample.

Assayers who meet certain qualifications are registered with the Arizona Board of Technical Registration; call the Board (602-364-4930) to see if the assayer is registered, and if there is any information available concerning public actions against the assayer.

If mining is currently going on at the site, be sure to get copies of all production reports. Once you are satisfied that the ore at the mine site has commercial value, you are ready to ask the next question:


Do not trust your money with people who have no prior experience in the mining industry. Mining is a highly skilled and technical profession, a field that cannot be profitably pursued by amateurs. If possible, check out ALL of the mining and business references provided by the offerors. If they have not provided you with any references, require them. If they have no references they can give you, or if their references are so vague that you cannot check on them, then the operators may not have any mining or refining experience.
You should next ask …


Are the people to whom you will be giving your money financially solvent? Are they a newly created company with little or no assets? Do they personally have any financial stake in the venture, or are they merely a group of people who want to enter a high risk venture using other people's money? You don't know the answer to these questions until you see balance sheets, profit and loss statements, and other audited financial documents. Once again, if these types of financial statements are not provided to you, require them.
Remember that the most meaningful financial statements are those that have been prepared by an independent certified public accountant.

Your next question is …
Obviously, you want to know whether the people to whom you will be giving your hard-earned money have a history of law violations, civil lawsuits, or bankruptcies. Just as obviously, if the people who want your money do have such histories, they will naturally be reluctant to reveal their prior legal problems to you.

Contact the Securities Division for information about federal
or state securities law actions. Also, contact the mining
department, any other appropriate state agencies, and the Better Business Bureau. If the mine site is located on public land, contact the state's land department, or federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management or the Forest Service.
Review civil and bankruptcy court records. (Important numbers are listed on the last page of this bulletin.)

Having satisfied yourself that the people to whom you may
be giving your money do not have a history of law violations,
you should next ask …

How much is the investment going to cost you? What are you to receive for your money? A certain tonnage of ore? A certain number of ounces of precious metals? Stock? A pure cash return on your investment?
How is your investment to be made? In a lump sum, or in the form of periodic payments? Could you be required to provide additional money at some time in the future? Under the terms of the offering, must you meet any obligations or perform any duties other than making the investment? Once you understand the costs and obligations involved in investing in the program ask …


All investments have some amount of risk involved in them,
and the general rule is this: the greater the potential profit,
the greater the potential risk.
What assurance do you have that the offerors will not simply take your money and run? Is your investment secured by real property or equipment? (NOTE: It is a "red flag" if the promoters are guaranteeing that you will not lose money, whether they are offering your money back on demand or guaranteeing that a certain amount of gold is available.)
If the price of gold drops suddenly, would it still be feasible to mine? Does the mining program depend upon a continuous stream of investment capital in order to operate the mine? If it does, what if the stream of money decreases or is cut off? It can take millions to begin a viable mining operation.

Do the mine operators have any conflicts of interest that could cause them to devote less than their best efforts to the mining project?
Mining is inherently dangerous. If a worker gets injured at the mine site, could you be held financially responsible? If an injured worker sues the mine, is there enough liability insurance to cover the worker's claims?
If you are satisfied that you completely understand the risks
involved in investing in the program, your next question is …

You need to know just where your money will be going. Would some of your investment funds be used to pay sales commissions to the offerors or others? Towards salaries, legal fees, or other administrative expenses? How much of your investment money is actually going directly into the mining or refining of ore? What types of fees are going to be paid to the offerors? For what services? Arizona securities law requires that full disclosure be made to investors of the exact uses of proceeds in the venture. Finally, before you reach for your checkbook, you need to ask one more question…


Be guided by your head, not your heart. Do not let "gold fever" lead you down an empty mine shaft. The basic warning to keep in
mind when considering any investment, including mining investments, is this:

Arizona Important Contact Information

Arizona Corporation Commission's Securities Division 602-542-0662
(Toll free within Arizona) 1-866-VERIFY-9
Arizona Attorney General's Office Complaint & Information Center 602-542-5763

Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources 602-255-3795
Arizona Mine Inspector's Office 602-542-5971
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality 602-542-4791
Arizona Board of Technical Registration 602-364-4930
U.S. Bureau of Land Management (Phoenix) 602-417-9200
U.S. Forest Service (Phoenix) 602-225-5200
Better Business Bureau (Phoenix, Flagstaff, Yuma) 602-264-1721
(Tucson and Southern Arizona) 520-888-5353

For additional information on how to investigate any offering before you invest, see "How Do I Verify Before I Buy Investments?," available on the Securities Division's web site
(Click on Investor Info Center) or call 602-542-0428.


#634  Sticky Note Mining Scams lmcat 12/26/11 01:25:21 PM
#604  Sticky Note FINRA's 8/24 gold stocks scam alert. Needs to rbtree 11/20/11 03:20:44 PM
#572  Sticky Note MINES FOR SALE - A list of sites lmcat 11/08/11 01:02:35 PM
#409  Sticky Note "A Review of Recent Mining Stock Scams" thecrusher2011 09/20/11 11:36:56 AM
#3706   And hard to unlock. Since 2010! slojab 10/19/16 05:03:12 PM
#3705   Wait, assets of over a $billion? They gitreal 10/19/16 04:56:28 PM
#3704   BYRG has always been a scam. slojab 10/19/16 04:44:29 PM
#3703   Limestone and other Rare earth minerals gitreal 10/19/16 01:40:05 PM
#3702   BYRG has been quiet of late but they slojab 10/19/16 09:46:12 AM
#3701   BMIX - AS increase from 12.5 to 15 gitreal 10/13/16 11:04:16 PM
#3700   Ista, you bum! You know I've been rbtree 10/11/16 12:31:24 PM
#3698   I am now a Mod on the ECPN gitreal 10/06/16 02:47:05 PM
#3696   git, My tone on the ecpn ihub board georgeiporgi 10/05/16 03:05:36 PM
#3695   he only posts as georgeiporgi on ihub, the georgeiporgi 10/02/16 04:24:54 PM
#3694   I figured he did not post on Ihub, gitreal 10/02/16 12:59:18 PM
#3693   ista does not have pm ability, he can georgeiporgi 10/02/16 08:40:32 AM
#3692   Well Georgie, that is between me and Istaquio. gitreal 10/01/16 04:56:41 PM
#3691   so gitreal, what is your idea for the georgeiporgi 10/01/16 03:50:34 PM
#3690   For this crowd, a good breakfast burrito would 1manband 09/27/16 06:28:53 PM
#3689   Maybe a section set aside for joke companies gitreal 09/27/16 06:25:00 PM
#3688   I wonder if CJTF or PYHH had booths 1manband 09/27/16 06:13:50 PM
#3687   I wonder if CJTF or PYHH had booths gitreal 09/27/16 06:05:09 PM
#3686   Nevada mining in the spotlight at MINExpo convention 1manband 09/27/16 05:44:21 PM
#3684   Yukon's economic outlook 'bleakest' in Canada, report says 1manband 09/16/16 09:27:48 PM
#3683   BMIX - a billion traded yesterday, and 1.4 gitreal 09/08/16 02:36:54 PM
#3682   BMIX, that awesome diamond and gold miner in gitreal 09/07/16 08:46:39 PM
#3681   Geologist to all the best scams Craig Parkinson gitreal 09/07/16 05:59:45 PM
#3680   SEC Charges Four in Offering Fraud Related to 1manband 09/07/16 05:57:52 PM
#3679   Can't have a good US mining scam without TSXminer 09/04/16 12:06:58 PM
#3678   ITEC was promoting this same mine. ITEC's gitreal 09/02/16 02:18:54 PM
#3677   SEC suspends Arizona Gold Scam. 1manband 09/02/16 01:45:16 PM
#3676   Another dandy from the WGEE website: gitreal 08/31/16 01:14:31 AM
#3675   WGEE - another obvious scam. Here's what gitreal 08/31/16 01:09:36 AM
#3674   Shell takeover new mining scam. Probably a malc stone 08/30/16 11:06:40 PM
#3673   In looking at that blurb from Vast Mountains gitreal 08/25/16 11:57:43 PM
#3672   The prospectus you reference talks about $38 million gitreal 08/25/16 11:35:03 PM
#3671   I think this is the direct connection to 12yearplan 08/25/16 09:59:48 PM
#3670   True, and that’s the challenge of doing research 12yearplan 08/25/16 12:41:22 PM
#3669   Alright, I guess we'll just stick the Arizona gitreal 08/25/16 12:33:45 PM
#3668   Agree, when subjects get muddy or look air 12yearplan 08/25/16 12:25:41 PM
#3667   The Congress Mine is not under any regulatory gitreal 08/25/16 12:08:18 PM
#3666   Is it possible (in the usual and predictable 12yearplan 08/25/16 11:48:50 AM
#3665   The Determination of Applicability is a simple form gitreal 08/25/16 11:39:28 AM
#3664   No clue really but a layman's positive slant 12yearplan 08/25/16 08:25:45 AM
#3663   Very odd way to put things: "We gitreal 08/24/16 06:26:28 PM
#3662   Well, that response is better than no response gitreal 08/24/16 05:10:53 PM
#3661 little better version.. 12yearplan 08/24/16 04:58:39 PM
#3660   Here's Kevin's answer to that dabullishbear 08/24/16 04:46:18 PM
#3659   Good luck collecting... TSXminer 08/23/16 11:40:06 AM
#3658   Interested in becoming filthy stinkin' rich, gitreal? slojab 08/23/16 10:11:21 AM
#3657   I guess we'll see what happens. gitreal 08/19/16 06:13:35 PM
#3656   Agree, and what I meant by great is 12yearplan 08/19/16 05:56:36 PM
#3655   The video of the testing of the Redbird gitreal 08/19/16 05:36:18 PM
#3654   Three things, don't be a scam, don't be 12yearplan 08/19/16 05:26:59 PM