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The Face of a Fraudster: How to Recognize a Fraudulent Investment Salesperson

Famous stories of investment fraud tend to start with the same thing: a suave, successful con man with a great plan, a Bernie Madoff type, or a Jordan Belfort. But is that really what investment fraudsters look like? Knowing what a fraudulent investment salesperson may look or act like is the first step in avoiding a potential investment scam. And it starts with recognizing that fraudsters come in all shapes, sizes, ages, genders, and socioeconomic levels.

So if every fraudulent investment salesperson looks different from one another, how can cautious investors recognize them? The key is to pay attention to the details of the salespeople, their offers, and their promises. Below are traits common to investment scammers so you can recognize the face of a fraudster.

The Credentials They Wave

Fraudulent investment scammers may not be licensed with FINRA, the SEC, the state of Florida (or your home state). So watch for investment managers or salespeople who are quiet about their qualifications. Always be sure to investigate what credentials investment salespeople have, and whether they and their firms are registered. Also look to see if they have a record of dealing with regulators, disgruntled investors, or SEC investigations. This information can be found online.

The Deals They Peddle

While fraudsters may deal in a variety of investment products, many scams have similar hallmarks. Look for investment products that are not registered, or have complex or confusing terms or strategies. Scams sometimes initially produce results that are strangely consistent, even when the market shifts up or down. Fraudulent investment salespeople also tend to specifically offer deals to potential victims, rather than waiting to be found by investors. They may involve difficult reams of paperwork or unavailable documentation. Always research investment products carefully before opening your wallet.

The Lines They Use

Scammers often use a few standard lies to reel in potential investors. Fraudulent investment salespeople tend to promise high investment returns with little or no risk, guaranteed payments, or overly speedy earnings. Keep an eye out for once-in-a-lifetime deals, get-rich-quick schemes, and unverifiable or unbelievable claims. And especially beware of individuals who claim to have secretive or insider information. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

The People They Fear

So you have checked the investment salesperson’s credentials thoroughly, and you have reviewed the investment products carefully and watched for warning signs. But still, you have been taken in by a scammer. Investment fraudsters are devious, and will stop at nothing to move money out of your pocket and into theirs. But what can you do now?

If you have been the victim of investment fraud in Miami, start by understanding your options. It may be possible to recover all or part of your investments. Contact an experienced investment and financial attorney at Carlson & Associates, P.A. at 1-305-372-9700 today for a consultation. We will begin helping you immediately.

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