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?

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.


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