ACEF: Counterfeit Coins On Hundreds Of Websites


A Long Island, New York investor mistakenly thought he could make a quick profit of at least several hundred dollars on an online purchase of coins from a vendor he found advertising at

Two of ten fakes received from advertiser
Two of the ten counterfeit American Eagle “silver” bullion coins received by a Long Island, New York buyer who responded to a seller’s advertisement on (Photo credit: Donn Pearlman.)

Instead, the unsuspecting buyer unhappily learned all ten of the "American Silver Eagle" coins he received are fakes, according to the nonprofit Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation (

"The ACEF has notified Walmart and the Secret Service about the advertiser, and he is under investigation; however, bad actors selling counterfeit rare coins and fake gold and silver bullion coins online frequently change company names and websites," cautioned Doug Davis, ACEF Anti-Counterfeiting Director.

"We’ve seen suspicious ads posted on many platforms, including Amazon and Facebook. We now are tracking more than 300 websites selling fakes, many of them apparently operated by the same individuals or companies, but often under different company names. Some even copy the exact wording and actual photos from legitimate dealers’ web pages," explained Davis, a former Texas Police Chief.

Genuine United States Mint-produced American Silver Eagle bullions each contain one ounce of silver and may sell for perhaps 20 percent over the current price of silver. The Long Island investor mistakenly thought he was getting a great bargain when he paid a total of only $26.16, including tax, to purchase all ten of what the seller claimed were "silver coins."

The advertisement even promised the coins would be accompanied by a "Certificate of Authenticity from the US Mint."

Thinking he could get perhaps $300 or more for the ten items, the buyer learned they were counterfeits when he tried to sell them to a local Long Island coin dealer.

As a good faith gesture, the dealer purchased all ten of the bogus coins for the exact amount the investor originally paid, then submitted all the fakes to Davis at the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation along with copies of the investor’s purchase documents.

Fake coin received by ACEF
One of three fake American Eagle “silver” bullion coins advertised online at for $7.99 each and purchased by the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation as part of an ongoing investigation. (Photo credit: Doug Davis/Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation.)

As part of their ongoing probes of suspected fraud, investigators with the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force make purchases from websites suspected of selling counterfeit coins and precious metals.

"In one recent purchase, we ordered three advertised American Eagle silver coins for $7.99 each from a seller. As is typical of many suspect sellers on social media and other websites, the advertiser wanted to appear legitimate by requesting payment using PayPal. The coins received were professionally tested for authenticity and they were below the weight of United States Mint standards and were magnetic. Genuine examples are not magnetic," explained Davis.

Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation experts warn that the quality of many counterfeits is quite good and easily can deceive buyers who are not experienced with coins and precious metal bullion items.

"Counterfeiters and their accomplices are heavily marketing fakes through social media and websites that may promise genuine merchandise but deliver counterfeits. Every day, ACTF investigators locate suspected websites selling counterfeit coins and precious metals, preying on unsuspecting victims," said Davis.

"Remember, if you don’t know precious metals or rare coins, you’d better know a reputable seller, such as experts affiliated with the Accredited Precious Metals Dealer program ( or the Professional Numismatists Guild ( Members of both PNG and APMD must follow a strict code of ethics in the buying and selling of numismatic merchandise," Davis advised.

"The important work of the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation and its volunteer task force of rare coin and precious metals experts is supported entirely by donations," explained ACEF Executive Director Robert Brueggeman. "The ACEF is a 501(c)(3) corporation, and all donations are tax deductible."

For additional information, contact the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation by phone at 817-723-7231, by email,or visit the website at

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Good thing you can avoid fake American Silver Eagle bullion coins, by being able to buy direct from the US Mint, as Legislators mandated selling “to the public”.

Jeff Legan

I think you missed his sarcasm, Major D (the meme).


Let’s get ready to rumbbbbbbbblllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

Chris Terp

Every US Mint survey I get Caliskier I suggest Mint sell bullion direct to any consumer. I am sure I am not the only one who makes this request to the Mint.

Other countries sell bullion direct to consumer and US Mint should follow suit.


I am not an authorized dealer but have been on the us mints loyalty program for years. I get all new coinage on the enrollment program. Before theyre released to the public. Just join their loyalty program.


While I commend ACEF for all that they do, the reality is that China has fully functional coinage presses with the ability to create working dies of ANY coin and strike them. This has been known for many, many years and only when the United States government gets involved, which they have not despite knowing, will this stop at least in the shear volume flooding into the country on a daily basis. When the average U.S. consumer buys 99% of their products made in China, do you really think the government is going to act on China? As to the… Read more »


The Walmart store allows any third party to sell via their store. APMEX also has a storefront on eBay but their prices are higher on eBay because they include shipping for each coin in the price. Not sure if they do the same on Walmart but if you are buying multiple coins it is cheaper to use their own site.

H. Michael Kinsman

Why isn’t PayPal being held accountable. Almost scams use PayPal and they know it. They are helping these scammers simply because they make money from them. A Class Action suit and criminal charges should be filed against them by state, federal and consumers.


I get my bullion and rare coins from APMEX. They are reliable and give a discount for eCheck purchases.


JM Bullion is owned by A-Mark who is an authorized dealer. A-Mark owns several PM dealers


I get all my coins from the most reputable source…HSN and Mike Mezack. They get coins direct from the mint and tell me it’s the lowest price I can buy them.


LOL. That’s the FIJI Mint though.

Tom Huzella

Ahhh. Every coin show on cable can only make a profit by overpriced coins. Mezak, Tomaska et al have been doing this for years and they are all good guys. But their shows run over and over again and they are not all that cheap. The next time you watch one of their shows go to ebay and see what the same coin or coin set sells for there. I have found 90% of their TV offerings for up to 50% cheaper on ebay. Hence I can almost guarantee you that if you try to sell your TV show product… Read more »


Plus he mostly sells Anacs graded and their own FIJI MINT COINS! mezaks shipping is expensive and a slow train to arrive. I mostly watch him having my morning coffee before work for any useful info. He has been on the scene forever.

Jeff Legan

When I got back into coin collecting around 2006 (after originally collecting coins I found in change as a kid in the early 1970s) I bought some older coins I always admired and filled in earlier proof ASEs I was missing through Littleton. I had been seeing their ads. I knew even then they were expensive, but I hoped it would mean they were not counterfeit. I was worried about fakes. My opinion is that they can be trusted for that even today, but I am not completely sure that is true. I see even they are now selling “uncirculated”… Read more »

Jeff Legan

Thanks for your input, Kaiser Wilhelm. I learned 3 more things about them than I knew before your comments. Your comments reminded me of another thing I recall Littleton claiming- That they buy collections at a higher price than other dealers. Based on their high prices, that might be true. Can anyone verify that? Anyone ever try selling their collection or any individual coins to Littleton? I sometimes wonder what is the best way to sell coins for maximum value. Online? In person? Auction? Take a booth at a coin show? I figure a dealer will be among the worst.… Read more »


My entire collection is part D of my retirement and pension. Im selling every coin i ever owned the day I retire!!


Majority of his coins are Anacs graded which means your overpaying and 99 % of the time Anacs never crosses over on grading. I made a promise decades ago..NEVER BUY ANACS GRADED COINS!!


Yes they are authorized purchasers. APMEX is listed as:

American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX)Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73012Silver, Gold, Platinum, Palladium
I’ve bought from JM too.

Last edited 1 year ago by Roger

Over many years I have found both APMEX and JM Bullion to be highly reliable, both offer 4% discount for eCheck, and free shipping for orders over $199. APMEX ships from Oklahoma City and JMB ships from Las Vegas. JMB very, very slightly undercuts APMEX on US Mint bullion as a rule but is focused exclusively on bullion products while APMEX carries a full line of rare coins, currency, and Mint products.

Last edited 1 year ago by Roger
Dazed and Coinfused

Silver that cheap and meth mike would have snatched all of it before other dude had a chance. It would bet anacs would have had a limited edition set made just for him. With 5 flex pays and free shipping. Find a good dealer. Buy with credit card so you get extra protection.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


Or, we can all take a deep breath, and say in unison,
“Do not buy 1oz silver coins for $7.99”


They should serialize the boxes somehow. Though not sure how you would do that for the coin to match. You know it’s a big market because you can easily find boxes for every single coin ever minted in bulk.


Why is Walmart even doing business with Precious Metals in the first place


Two or three years ago I purchased some fake silver eagles advertised on yahoo I paid by PayPal and paid a couple of hundred dollars they were from a false address that were several false addresses from A dummy company in Texas the PayPal payment was to China I turned in all the coins to the secret service one bag unopened PayPal gave me no refund and neither did the secret service the distributor’s were in new York State and California the secret service has never gave me any kind of refund or answers,I actually went to one of our… Read more »

Dazed and Coinfused

If they can pay $20,000 for a person’s student loans they can easily pay for a few ounces of silver. Probably one of thr thousands of people that also got fake nursing degrees.


I won a couple hundred bucks at an Atlantic city once. When i got home i went to the bank to put my winnings in. 6 100 dollar bills were counterfeit. The bank took them and i lost out. I explained where i had gotten them from and the twller basically said shes under obligation by law to turn those bills in. I was out of my money. Bottomline….you dont get reimbursed for turning in false money


” The Long Island investor mistakenly thought he was getting a great bargain when he paid a total of only $26.16, including tax,”

I don’t feel bad for this dude at all. Greed is why he got ripped off because common sense should have kicked in when 1 coin was worth more than he paid for x10 with tax!


The US Government needs to crack down on coins coming from known counterfeiting countries like China and not allow them to be shipped to the USA.