SAVANNAH, GA (November 12, 2010): Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police have issued an alert to residents attending auctions presented by traveling auctioneers.

Sgt. Keith Edwards of the SCMPD Financial Crimes Division said Secretaries of State in various states have received complaints after some auctions that items sold were replicas of what they were described to be and that practices of some of the auctions were questionable.

“Sometimes these businesses come into town, set up in luxury hotels and present themselves as sellers of high quality merchandise, “ said Sgt. Edwards. “But they are not always associated with the hotels or other locations they have leased, and the items could be worth far below the sales prices.”

Some auctions boast of having armed security on site to present the perception of value of the inventory. Some advertise that that appraisers are available on site.

He suggested buyers  be cautious of inflated appraisals that may be contrived and unauthorized reproductions of artwork by closely inspecting all items and trying to get them appraised by established experts before purchasing them.

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