Today, to avoid fraud, one must be super vigilant! Robo phone calls or calls from nefarious individuals frequently ask for return phone calls. They then manage to acquire personal information, money, or both from unsuspecting victims. This happens each and every day. Mail and email scams are not at all uncommon either. There are so many ways for someone to obtain your personal information, financial records, or talk you into writing a check that it's surprising anyone can avoid these unscrupulous methods. But avoid them you must.
Investments in fraudulent causes/businesses is another way for unsuspecting victims to get roped into giving up their hard-earned cash. Here, we are going to look at some investment scams, and offer a little bit of advice as to how to protect your money and avoid fraud.
Some of the most common tactics (and things that scammers may say) to entice you to invest are as follows:
- Scarcity – "Quick! Sign up now, there are only a couple of units left."
- Reciprocity – "If you buy now, I'll give you half off, and take a break on my commission."
- Social census – "Everyone is investing in this. It's how my church congregation, my mom, and my best friend all got their start."
- Source credibility – "I would never dream of dealing in something that isn't productive and moneymaking. After all, I am the senior vice president."
- Phantom riches – "You're guaranteed an income of at least $6,800 a month if you invest in this business!"
How to Protect Yourself
The following strategies may well be the difference between losing your money or personal information and protecting them both:
- Solicitation lists – get off! Use the Federal Trade Commission's National Do Not Call Registry to reduce the number of sales pitches received.
- Before investing, discuss it with someone you trust. This is particularly applicable if the person asking for money says something on the lines of, "This is a very special deal. Don't share it with anyone else!" If a salesperson says that, be very skeptical. Secrets are not needed by legitimate professionals. Discuss your possible investment with an accountant, lawyer, financial professional, or family member first. Even if the investment and seller seem to be legitimate and/or registered.
- Ask questions – turn the tables on them. Ask as many questions as you can think of. Check up on the person and the company who is calling. Don't give any information about yourself unless they're willing to give up information as well. Even then, be wary.
- Make the conversation come to an abrupt end. Practice these responses: "Not interested.", "No.", or something on those lines. If you must, tell them you’ll get back to them after you think about it. If the pressure rises, so that you can leave the conversation quickly, figure out an exit strategy ahead of time.
Weltz Law for Scams and Fraud
At Weltz Law, we understand how easy it is to be taken in by experienced scam artists and frauds. Even the best of us, in a moment of weakness, can fall prey to phone calls from fraudulent sources who are interested in nothing more than gaining our information or tapping into our financial resources.
If you feel that you, someone you know, or someone you love has fallen prey to a scam or a fraud, contact us immediately. Don't wait another minute. Schedule a free consultation to find out what your recourse is and how to stop these thieves from victimizing others.