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How to Avoid International Investment Scams

How to Avoid International Investment Scams

No one wants to have a bad experience with an investment. It is not just a simple loss, like when you lose your wallet on the way to work. An investment usually involves many years of effort and hard work that allowed you some earnings, or enough stability in your business to get to the point where you can make a big deal. For experienced investors as well as for beginners, losing money in an investment is more than just losing money. Victims of investment scam are not only worried about the loss, they also feel outraged, and it is understandable.

Many of the investment scams that take place nowadays start with a call or email out of the blue. Or, it can also start with a fancy looking website or sales pitch on the internet.  An opportunity you can’t miss!  You were not really looking to invest your life savings but you suddenly get an offer so good you can´t turn it down. Many individuals have fallen for scam schemes like these. Achieving financial security for the future is the dream of most people. Everyone wants to retire without any financial concerns and be able to enjoy all the things they couldn´t do for a long time, like travel around the world or move to a small rural town in a tropical country. So when someone offers this as a possibility and promises it will become real, people don´t think it twice and accept the offer.  They usually have to act now!  So, they are told.

The same thing happens with companies.  Most organizations have a strategic plan designed to grow and generate more profits. When a great opportunity knocks on the door, corporate executives will most likely open and listen to the offer. Today´s globalized world offers many opportunities to expand businesses, but the risks of expanding overseas must be well identifiedWhen there is no great deals at home, more managers and individuals look overseas, where due diligence and verification become critical to your success.

Business owners and individuals alike must take time to evaluate the offer and potential investment.  Investing overseas is tricky business, and even if a company, business partner, supplier or even a listed stock seems like the perfect opportunity, you had better take the time to evaluate the risks.  Doing business in Japan, Russia, China or Vietnam?  Maybe in Brazil or Taiwan.  How will you verify the investment properly if you don’t speak the language and you’re currently on the other side of the globe?  Chances are, you can’t.  You’re going to need a professional.

There are some important steps you can take on your own, however, and it’s important to do everything you can to minimize the risk.  If you take all these steps, and you still feel you have a serious investment opportunity, then is the time to consult a professional investigation company about discreet due diligence or company verification services to obtain the evidence you need.

Even the most skeptical and cautious can be a victim of investment fraud and scams.  Internet criminals are becoming very sophisticated in their tactics, registering false company, creating elaborate websites, and even getting listed on real stock exchanges!

Some of the steps you can take to avoid international investment scams are:

1. Protect your personal information.   Most scammers and criminals need information about your to scam you and steal your money.  Never provide sensitive company data or personal data to someone you’ve never met or had properly verified.  Identity theft, investment scams and blackmail are increasingly common, and the last thing you want to do is provide your ID or information to a criminal who hopes to rob you.

The recent data breaches in big companies have been a clear example of how people´s information is sold on the black market. When you receive a cold call for an investment, you can count on the person on the other side of the phone knowing how much money you have in the bank. Fraudsters don´t just get the phone book and start calling out anyone they find, they know exactly who their target is.

2. Be skeptical when you receive an offer.   If if seems too good to be true… it probably is!  A wise investment does not come in the form of an emergency or high pressure deal.  Take your time and don’t be pressured into anything.  If you feel rushed or pressured, take a day or two to think about the situation carefully, and ask yourself what you could lose.   A safe investment will not have any incredible yield and it will not make you rich from one day to another. Some of the offers sound absurd from the beginning and people will most likely reject it at once. That is why criminals are now being more moderate with their offers. Before putting any money in, verify that the company is real. A company background check and comprehensive company verification is an important tool in fighting fraud.   These services can verify the registration, reputation, operations and ownership, as well as obtain other important evidence.  Investigator can verify phsyical offices and check for any history of fraud.

3. Take the time to verify and research.  No one doubts about the existence of Intel or Apple, but if you´re being offered shares of a company you are absolutely sure is real, then what you need to check is the person who is offering them. Is this person an employee, a certified stock broker, or a legal representative who is truly affiliated with the company, or licensed to operate?  What if you have never heard of the company?  In either case, take the time to research the company and person you’re communicating with, ask for references and evidence that the offer is legitimate.  If you’re presented with documents, consult a private investigation company to verify the authenticity of those documents before signing.

4. Consider professional due diligence.  Many company are turning to private investigators who specialize in international due diligence for big company deals, especially franchises, mergers and acquisitions. Once you have gone through with the basics, to be safe, most companies and investors need to dig deeper to ensure they are not making a very big mistake.  Experts with international presence or international investigators on the ground where you need them speak the language and have access to local records.  Need to know if an office or supplier exists in India, Romania, Malaysia or China or the Philippines?  It helps to have a trained investigator in those countries!

Investment scams can happen to anyone, no matter how much of an experienced investor you are, or how long you´ve been dealing with global business. Need help or a professional opinion?  Don’t be a victim.  Get a free quote today!

C. Wright
© 2014 Wymoo International
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