What are investment scams? Investment scams are schemes that promise investors high returns, quick money or guaranteed returns in exchange for investing money. Scammers may try to sell fake investments, such as stocks, bonds, commodities or currency. They may also try to get you to invest in a Ponzi scheme, where earlier investors are paid with money from new investors.
Scammers often use social media to promote their schemes and target potential victims. They may also use pressure tactics, such as promising high returns in a short period of time, to get you to invest before you have a chance to think about it.
How to spot an investment scam?
There are a few things that can help you spot an investment scam:
- Promises of high returns with little or no risk: Be sceptical of any investment opportunities that promise guaranteed high returns with little or no risk. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Pressure tactics: Scammers may try to pressure you into investing before you have a chance to think about it or do your research. They may say that the opportunity is only available for a limited time or that there are only a few spots left.
- Unsolicited offers: Be wary of unsolicited offers, especially if they come through social media or email. If you didn’t ask for the information, be careful about responding.
- Avoid showing their face: Most fraudsters will try and hide their identities behind their screens, using fake stage names and avoiding video calls where their faces can be identified.
- Unusual banking and beneficiary details: Scammers involved in financial crime use numerous money launderers and banking accounts to move their stolen funds. If the investment firm you are dealing with asks you to deposit funds in a series of different accounts, this is a RED FLAG!
- Advanced fee psychology tactics: if you have tried to withdraw funds from an investment and you are being asked to pay taxes or other unusual fees before you can withdraw your funds, chances are you have been scammed, and they are only trying to get more funds out of you!
How can you check if an investment is real?
If you’re thinking about investing in something, take the necessary time to research it first. You can start by checking whether the company or individual offering the investment is licensed to do so in your state or territory.
Be wary of investment firms or schemes that are not licensed or based in your country of residence! Scammers will set up their companies under cloned financial services licenses or purchase and obtain licenses in countries with little or no regulatory scrutiny.
You can also look up reviews and complaints online. It is recommended that you Google the term “Scam” and the name of the investment company that has contacted you. This search could identify other victims that have already reported the company you are researching as a scam.
Keep in mind that scammers also backstop their fraudulent schemes by putting their own fake reviews online to make their investment scams appear legitimate.
If you’re still not sure, you can always ask someone you trust for their opinion or contact Argus investigations for a discreet enquiry.
How can I protect myself from investment scams?
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from investment scams:
- Don’t respond to unsolicited offers: If you didn’t ask for the information, be careful about responding.
- Do your research: Take some time to research any investments you’re considering before making a decision.
- Check out the company: Make sure the company or individual offering the investment is licensed in your state by searching your state’s securities regulator website.
- Be wary of promises of guaranteed high returns: Be sceptical of any investment opportunities that promise guaranteed high returns with little or no risk.
- Don’t give access: Do not under any circumstances provide anyone access to your computer or personal information! Scammers commonly use software like AnyDesk to gain control of your computer.
- Ask to meet: Argusinvestigations recommend never investing with anyone whose identity you cannot confirm or meet in person.
What should I do if I have been scammed?
If you think you’ve been scammed, report it to your local securities regulator, file a complaint with local law enforcement, obtain a report reference number and contact Argus Investigations if you wish to have your matter reviewed by expert financial investigators.