ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Commerce Department is warning seniors about an investment scam involving precious metals.

The California-based precious metals company, which is not registered in Minnesota as a bullion dealer or investment advisor, is cold calling seniors across the U.S. trying to convince them their savings are not safe in traditional accounts, state officials said.

The state Commerce Department issued a cease and desist order May 16 against to stop the firm from making bullion, precious metals and other investments in Minnesota. The company has been accused of using scare tactics and threats to manipulate seniors to move their savings into investments controlled by the company, according to an emergency order filed May 1 in Texas.

State Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley warned seniors and other investors to resist fear tactics and calls to quickly move savings into investments they do not understand. Risk-free deals that sound too good to be true probably are, he said.

Minnesotans who fear they have been the victim of a scam or fraud should contact the commerce department’s Consumer Services Center at or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602.