Many people are cash-strapped these days—not just college students, but adults as well. While everyone knows that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is, many still can’t resist the allure of something for anything. Whether through fake investments or pyramid schemes, there are plenty of ways for individual investors to get scammed out of their hard-earned money.
So, how can you avoid investment scams? Here are some tips:
1. Research The Opportunity
Before handing over any money, make sure that you research the company thoroughly to find out if they’re legitimate and if they can, in fact, deliver on their promise. Also, keep in mind that not all companies who do business only online are scammers, and just because a company is ‘too big’ to be one doesn’t mean they aren’t. So, you’ll need to pay a lot of attention and do your homework if you’re to pick the chaff from the real thing.
As part of your research, it’s also important to read up on what others have said about them before making a decision. When looking at personal investment opportunities, be sure to check online reviews and even reports from trusted sources
2. Promises Too Much? Think Twice!
And, yes, the good old advice still applies in 2021. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Fraudsters are always lurking, looking for investors willing to put in any amount of money for quick returns; and, if you’re in any way familiar with the Sasha Hopkins case, then you know such schemes can steal millions of dollars from victims and wipe away your life savings if you’re not careful.
As the Victims of Sasha site investigates, they keep unearthing more people and even greater ripple effects caused by the scam that called itself ‘A Team Property Group’ before disappearing millions of investor money.
So, when looking at an investment opportunity, look out for things such as large ‘guaranteed’ returns, ‘no risk’ factor attached to taking part, and opportunities presented by anonymous sources—these are usually tell-tale signs that you’re probably dealing with a fraud. Try and check on these and other red flags before putting in your money.
3. If The Opportunity Lands Unsolicited In Your Inbox, Then Beware
Some of the biggest scams out there are international ones that cause billions of dollars in damage each year, but it’s hard to see that when you’re looking at a tiny sales page or email for an initial investment opportunity. That’s why many scammers choose to target people via Facebook messages, Twitter direct messages, and make offers, especially the ‘miraculous’ cryptocurrency investment opportunities.
So, if ‘the next big thing in investment’ just landed in your inbox on social media, then chances are it’s a hoax, or, at the very least, you have to be careful.
4. Invest Only As Much As You Can Stand To Lose
While it’s good to invest your money if you want financial security down the road, it’s also not wise to put all your eggs in one basket. So, when considering an opportunity, make sure that you can live with both success and failure by investing only an amount of money that won’t hurt you either way.
5. Avoid Investments With High-Pressure Sales Tactics
When considering any investment opportunity, be sure that you avoid those that use high-pressure sales tactics to get people to invest their money immediately because, most likely, they’re going to take it and run without giving you your return.
No investment is easy. Loss is always a close possibility. Professional investors get anxious when important variables to a certain investment fluctuate, so anything that pressures you to make a decision immediately is most probably a hoax. You’re actually encouraged to take your time deciding!
6. Check For Hidden Fees And Don’t Pay With Cash Over The Phone
When looking at an investment opportunity, watch out for things such as hidden fees or even being asked for payment in unusual ways, like sending cash via courier or asking for wire transfers from third-party sources instead of the company itself. In general, try not to wire money over the phone.
7. Avoid Sharing Personal Information On The Initial Investment Page
When looking for an investment opportunity, you might be asked to share some personal information to get started. However, it’s important to only give out your personal information on an official site where you can be assured that it won’t be shared with others or used against you (having done prior research and checked reviews and other markers of credibility is going to help you).
8. Get Help From Trusted Sources
If after checking online reviews and reports, you’re still unsure of what steps to take next, then turn to friends and family for advice on how they’d go about making the decision. Chances are someone a little less invested than you will be able to see some loopholes you’re probably letting yourself not see in hopes this is the investment opportunity of a lifetime.
When looking for any investment, be it stock or the now popular crypto opportunity, online, always be sure to check on whether or not there are red flags before putting your money in. Also, make sure that you don’t fall for high-pressure sales tactics when making a decision, and avoid sharing personal information with companies whose websites don’t feel legitimate. When in doubt, turn to trusted sources, such as friends and family, or professionals, for advice on how to proceed.