As a continuation of How to Protect Yourself against Investment Fraud Schemes (Part 1), the following provides some further information regarding what you can do to protect yourself and your hard-earned money from investment scams, like stock fraud and Ponzi schemes. While Part 1 of this blog discussed some of things that you should ask yourself when you are presented with a so-called “opportunity” to invest in, here in Part 1, we will focus on discussing some tips for you to keep in mind when dealing with individuals or organizations that may be operating an investment fraud scheme.
Before investing your money in any commodity or offer, some specific things to do if you are presented with such an “opportunity” include:
- Researching the presented investment on your own: Do not assume that you are being told the truth about the investment opportunity. Instead, take the time to do some fact checking to find out if this is, in fact, a legitimate investment opportunity. While this may involve online research into the company or product associated with the opportunity, it can also involve making phone calls or visiting the company in person to learn more about what has been presented to you.
- Researching the individual who presented the investment: Again, do not assume that person who is presenting you with this potential investment is telling you the truth about who he is, his experience, etc. You may find, after some research, that this individual is not affiliated with others who he claims to have connects with, does not hold professional licenses that he may claim to possess and/or has a shady past or even a criminal record.
- Checking up on the company with local and federal authorities: This can inform you about whether there have been previous complaints against or problems with the company running the investment opportunity. Be sure to check with the Better Business Bureau, as well as the Department of Justice, to see if any formal complaints or legal action has been taken against the company or its owners.
- Asking for written financial information from the company: Financial records for a company should be publically available for publically traded companies, and legitimate firms with legitimate investment opportunities will have no problem providing this information.
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