If I think I am being ripped off by a company I sold scrap silver to, what can I do and who doI contact for help?

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2011

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If I think I am being ripped off by a company I sold scrap silver to, what can I do and who doI contact for help?

Gave a company some scrap silver; was told it would be sent to a refinery; was then told that my silver wasn’t all. I asked to see the results from the refinery and they wouldn’t show them to me. I was showed a handwritten receipt for an amount paid to that company and it wasn’t from any metal refineries.

Asked on September 15, 2011 under General Practice, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There really isn't anyone to contact for help--there is no government agency or department that will look out for you in this situation. What you can due is file a lawsuit against the company, on grounds of fraud and/or breach of contract. Once you file the lawsuit, there are legal mechanisms, called "discovery," that will enable you to get information and documentation from the other company (e.g. to make them answer questions, provide receipts and test results, etc.) and will, if the case goes all the way to trial, have the chance to prove that you were defrauded in some way. You could potentially, if you win, recover the difference between what you were paid and what you should have been paid.

For a smaller amount (say, up to around $1,500), you may be best off representing yourself in court (maybe in small claims court), so as to avoid legal fees that could eat up anything you'd recover. For larger amounts, you should consult with an attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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