When someone tells you about a “can’t miss” investment opportunity, do you wonder if it’s really just fraud? Are they running a scam? Maybe the way they talk about it tips you off; they say that there is no risk at all, for instance, when you know that all investments carry some level of risk.
To help you watch out for fraud, one thing you should know is that people often target those that they have something in common with. They may also lie and pretend to have something in common just to build your trust.
For example, maybe you meet someone and mention that you’ve always gone to a certain church. Suddenly, they tell you that their parents go there, that they go to a different church of the same denomination or that that’s the denomination they were in growing up.
It may or may not be true. They’re just trying to break down your defenses before springing the scam on you. They know you’ll overlook red flags if you trust them. To make it happen, they want to join a group that you’re part of — in this case, your church. Examples of such groups include:
- Political party
- Military service
- Sexual orientation
Did this happen to you? Maybe you really trusted them, you ignored what now appear to be clear red flags, and you think they took advantage of your investment. You’re pretty sure what they did was both dishonest and illegal. If so, make sure you know exactly what legal steps you can take.