Investment Scams Flourish During Volatile Economic Timesby Nick LaFleur on Aug. 09, 2011, under alert, Life, scam, Tips
As global markets are currently seeing extreme volatility, worried investors are seeking safe havens for their funds. Because the United States has never in its history had its credit rating downgraded, many do not know what to expect. What should be expected, however, are investment-related propositions that may not be so trustworthy.
Investment scams always exist but in times of economic uncertainty and fear, they tend to increase because scammers know that investors are looking for ways to secure their funds.
Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona advises investors to take note of the following red flags in any investment pitch. Beware of any company that:
- Contacts you unsolicited. Be suspicious of any unexpected emails, phone calls or letters in the mail from investment firms urging you to respond.
- Requires a large upfront investment. One of the most common complaints BBB receives about investment opportunities from consumers is paying fees and not receiving the promised income. Many times, potential investors pay in advance but are unable to reach the company when concerns arise.
- Promises high returns for low risk. Every investment comes with a level of risk. If the seminar offers an investment plan claiming large returns with little or no risk, beware, even if it comes with the promise of a money-back guarantee. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Uses high pressure sales tactics. Seminar leaders often try to get investors to sign up immediately. They may claim there are only a few spots left or that investors need to get in on the ground floor today to see the largest earnings. A reputable company will let investors take their time to do research before buying in.
- Relies on off-shore investments. Many questionable seminar pitches try to give their scheme an air of sophistication by pushing overseas investments such as foreign currency, property, stocks and bonds. They may also incorrectly claim investors can avoid taxes by investing overseas.