Scammers are everywhere. They’re definitely closer than you think. Wherever there’s money you will find lurking those who want you to part with it. This is rampant especially in places where there’s lots of poverty. People become desperate to the point of making false claims and pretenses just to fleece others.
Now even though scammers abound, the question remains how prepared are you to avoid falling prey to them? Are you aware of how they operate? Do you certainly have what it takes to spot a scam? Your ability to answer yes to these questions is definitely beneficial. It’s most likely going to make a difference between your being rich or poor.
Investing is practically the only way to making serious wealth. And there are good and bad investments both competing for your attention and money. My aim basically is to provide you with some guidelines/checklists made up of things to look out for. Spotting these red flags should put you off from investing. You must always be one step ahead of scammers at all times.
Now you’ve got some money and you want to invest it. You want it to grow and make even more money. Look out for scammers if you spot any of the signs below:
High returns on investment
This is probably the most likely red flag you should spot whenever you’re considering investing. It’s commonplace to see scammers promise a huge return on your investment. It should send alarm signals when someone promises that they can easily double your money.
Have you ever wondered why someone who can easily double money needs money from other sources? He/she should easily be able to double theirs and make everything themselves. High returns are clearly unrealistic and unsustainable.
Scammers tout fast returns in the shortest time frame
Hollywood is probably the only place where one can sleep a pauper and become a millionaire overnight. There’s no such thing as fast money, except you win the lottery. And winning the lottery is not a proper wealth creation strategy.
`Therefore be wary when someone presents you with a get rich quick opportunity to make millions. These opportunities are scams in disguise most of the time. They really don’t need other investors if they can make money fast.
The promise of wealth without work
Mahatma Gandhi, leader of India’s independence movement, is credited with writing 7 Deadly Sins of society. The very first sin is “wealth without work”. Many people seek for opportunities to make money without lifting a finger. Hence they end up as victims of scammers.
True wealth and riches are the products of creating value and solving problems. Wealthy people work to get wealth. Anyone asking you to bring money to receive massive returns in the shortest time is probably a scammer.
Lack of clarity regarding the investment
A sure recipe for disaster is to invest in anything that you don’t understand. How the investment makes money is usually the first thing you need to know. Anyone trying to convince you to invest must divulge all relevant information so you can effectively decide.
Please do not invest in anything you don’t understand. This is because you can be easily fooled or manipulated. Furthermore please ensure to consult knowledgeable people before you invest.
Venture lacks regulation
Another detail to look out for before you invest is the presence of regulation. Is the business registered? And do they have a verified local business address? Who are those behind the opportunity? All these and many more questions must have answers before you invest.
Any business devoid of regulation can easily fold up and quietly disappear after scamming people of their funds. Make sure to take time to pay an unscheduled visit to their office to see things for yourself.
Poor ratings and reviews
One way to know if an investment is good is to read what others are saying about it. The internet has made this very easy. Just search for reviews on any business opportunity. People who have been victims of scammers usually don’t keep quiet. They share their experiences online. Thus it makes sense to research extensively before you invest.
This is so easy to do online. Just ask google. For instance the MMM Global scam caused 3 million Nigerians to lose 18 Billion Naira. Google searches would have shown that it was a scam . Perhaps these Nigerians were just plain greedy.
Lack of a specified product/service offering
Another red flag any willing investor should look out for is the value the business opportunity is offering customers. Most people would rather focus on the returns without remembering that it’s the value potential that is paramount. No value equals no revenue.
Scammers play on the fact that everyone wants to make money quickly. Let me quickly emphasize again that there’s nothing like getting rich quick. Don’t part with your hard earned money if what is being offered is unclear or doesn’t seem like what can generate good returns .
Investment fails to receive expert endorsement
Investing thrives on knowledge. It’s mostly the art of using financial information to your advantage. And there are thousands of investment advisers out there. Consult the best experts you can find before taking the plunge into any opportunity.
In addition do not fail to take heed to their advice. It will surely save you from unnecessary losses. Experts must advise you on the viability and sustainability of the opportunity.
Pressure to invest in a hurry
Be especially wary if you’re under pressure to invest quickly. Potential scammers sometimes want you to “invest before it’s too late”. Or they might tout, “this offer is for a limited time only”. Don’t be swayed by mere rhetoric.
Investment experts usually posit that you must do your due diligence before you invest. And due diligence takes time. It’s probably for the best if you pass up on investments that want you to invest in a hurry. A good investment will attract interest without making people rush to invest.
Absence of a written contract
Scammers don’t like to leave traces. They definitely wouldn’t like to leave a paper trail, or a document like some form of written contract. They know that contracts can be vetted and terms checked. Their preference is to confuse you into releasing funds without doing the proper due diligence.
Written contracts are usually full of details. For instance the details of the company, promoters, terms of contract, dispute resolution etc. It’s imperative that you insist on a written contract with favorable clauses before you invest. Please do not invest substantial sums without it. And get legal advice before you sign it.
In conclusion financialmentor.com has published an excellent article detailing 16 types of investment securities fraud you should avoid. You can never be too careful before investing. In fact, there are so many scams out there masquerading as legitimate investment opportunities.
Furthermore, it pays to be guided by the timeless truth that, “if it’s too good to be true it probably is”.Don’t let your greed for quick and fast returns control you. Investing should be more logical than emotional. and not vice versa.
Don’t forget to consult widely before you invest. Following this checklist of 10 things to look out for will substantially improve your chances of not getting scammed now or in the future.