View Full Version : 'Cash for Gold' Privacy Fail

03-02-2014, 03:04 PM
Watching some episodes of 'Hardcore Pawn' reminded me of something that happened at my mall last year.

I was talking with the employee of the gold buying place we had; one of the shady ones - I guess they paid their rent, but there were always lots of complaints about them to the mall. I don't know which were legit and which were just people wanting more money than they were being offered.

The employee told me the following: Yesterday, a young man came in and sold a ring. he got a decent amount. They scan your id and the slip with a picture of the jewelry and then a copy of that goes to the police so they can tell the store if a piece was reported stolen. Usually the paperwork is sent in that day, but she was running behind, so today she still had the paperwork. Today an angry lady comes in and demands to look through the items they purchased yesterday, because she said her daughter's boyfriend stole her antique ring and she thought it might have been brought here.

This is where the I think the employee effed-up; instead of asking for a police report, or talking to her boss, or getting a description of the woman's ring and checking the paperwork for the woman she GAVE the woman ALL OF YESTERDAY'S PAPERWORK and let her go through all the copies of IDs until she supposedly found the ID for her daughter's boyfriend. She claimed that was her ring, paid back the money that the store had given the man, and she left with the ring.

The issue with me, is that the employee didn't know who the heck this woman really was and let her have access to names, addresses and possibly even SSN's of EVERYBODY her store had done business with for the last 2-days. I told her she probably violated confidentiality and privacy laws by doing that. I said that if I thought a company was going to give my information to whoever walked in off the street with a convincing story that I wouldn't do business with them again. She said she didn't know what else to do. This is a middle-aged woman, and not a pushover, so I think she was just being lazy and didn't want to bother jumping through hoops. I did tell the mall management that if we were aware of the store doing this, we might want to cancel their contract; the management had already caught flak from another shady store ripping off customers. But, years later that store is still there. Gold seller beware I guess!

03-02-2014, 10:28 PM
Definitely shady, and careless. Did she keep an eye on the woman while she went through the paperwork? I doubt a passing glance would harm anybody unless she's damn good at memorizing numbers as she reads through the documents, but if she wasn't being watched she could have pocketed some of the papers and the employee probably wouldn't even notice.

03-03-2014, 01:13 PM
She claimed that was her ring, paid back the money that the store had given the man, and she left with the ring.

Almost certainly an ID harvesting scam. How did she know daughter's boyfriend went to that particular gold buyer? If it had been legitimate (i.e. stolen ring, gone to police), the stolen property would have been seized by the cops with no compensation to the gold buyer (after all, they bought it from someone who didn't own it). My guess is a smartphone behind a hole in her coat, recording on video to collect the personal info.