Nebraskans Exchange Gold for Bad Checks

Nicole Ebat

NEBRASKA CITY(KPTM)-- Residents in Nebraska City thought they were getting a bargain: they took their old jewelry and other knick-knacks to the Treasure Hunters Roadshow and walked away with a check.

But for 94 of them, the Otoe county attorney says cashing those checks didn't do the people any good. The checks bounced.

This isn't the first city that's had problems with this particular company.

"These shows have been popping up in communities and people have been selling their goods to this company and then the checks they write to the consumers end up bouncing," said Jim Hegarty, CEO for the Better Business Bureau.

Some people are only out about $100, but Hegarty said all the checks totaled are around $40,000.

A little bit of research could have saved these people a lot of money, he said.

"Had our consumers checked with us first, they would have found out that this company had an F rating and they would have found out that lots of people have been left with these bad checks," he said.

The Otoe county attorney said only 7 people have come to him to look into the bad checks.

The attorney's office has been in talks with the company and have been told the victims will be getting their funds and any fees they had to pay because of the bounced check. He also said the victims will be getting a $25 "inconvenience compensation" fee.

Professional jewelers say most of the "Cash for Gold" or "We Buy Gold" shops should either be investigated thoroughly by the seller or avoided.

"If you don't know jewelry, know your jeweler," said Scott Clark, co-owner of West Omaha Jewelers and Repair.

He's run the shop with his business partner, Russ McIntosh since 2006. The shop takes gold for cash.

He says your best bet for staying safe and making sure you get your money's worth is to stick with an established company.

"[These companies] are there for two to three or six months and then they're gone,"said Clark. "the last three to five weeks [they're there] they can start writing bogus checks."

Even if that doesn't happen, he says you can still be losing out on cash at many of those businesses.

"They're just buying gold and then keeping the diamonds, the colored stones. So they're getting all that for free and they're making more money than people know," he said.

So, the moral of his story: "Be careful because you never know who's on the other side,"

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