NEW JERSEY (CBSNewYork/AP) — Consumer Affairs officials in New Jersey announced Thursday that 936 civil citations had been issued against 21 jewelers across northern and central New Jersey.

As WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported, the 21 cash-for-gold stores from Edison to Emerson — six in Fairfield alone — are accused of using improper and unapproved scales.

“Several stores allegedly failed to weigh precious metals in plain view of the seller,” said state Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve Lee.

Investigators often posed undercover as consumers seeking to sell their gold.

“Our intent is not to drive these companies out of business, but to bring them into full compliance with the law,” Lee said.

Full compliance includes not cheating customers, and Lee said he suspects that was what was happening in some of the cases.

“Certain merchants didn’t provide the weight of the jewelry, they just offered a price,” he said.

Just offering a price is not legal, Putney reported. Prices should be posted and receipts should be filled out.

Lee said more compliance checks are coming.

“These efforts are just the beginning,” he said.

State law also requires that buyers obtain proof of identification from sellers, to curb theft. State officials said there were several instances where required ID was missing.

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