When you hear about a can’t-miss investment opportunity your first reaction might be to jump right in. Don’t. But how do you tell the difference between a legitimate investment — and a scam?
Investment scams create the impression that you can "make lots of money" with "little to no risk." They often start on social media, online dating apps, or from an unexpected text, email, or call. This Military Consumer Month we’re talking about ways to avoid investment scams and bogus money-making schemes.
Here’s what to know:
Don’t accept any unsolicited offers. If you get an out-of-the-blue call, text, or email about “an amazing investment opportunity,” it’s a scam. Walk away.
Don’t believe promises that you’ll make money or earn guaranteed returns. No one can guarantee you’ll make lots of money with little to no risk. Anyone who does is a scammer.
Reject the high-pressure pitch. Scammers will often pressure you to act fast, saying that you’ll miss the opportunity if you fail to do so. They try to plant an image in your head of what life will be like when you’re rich. Don’t believe it. Legitimate investments let you take the time you need to investigate before spending any money.
Do your own research. Don’t make any investment until you’ve checked it out and fully understand what you’re investing in, and the terms of the deal. Research the investment and the person offering it. Search online for the name of the company plus “review,” “complaint,” or “scam.”
You may be able to spot a scam, but chances are, you know someone who doesn’t. Sharing what you know could help a family member, colleague, servicemember, or a veteran in your life avoid investment scams. Spotted a scam? Report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
- We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
- We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
- We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
- We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.
Very timely, always timely to remind us of such ruses and of our own desire to become rich quickly.
Very good article and very helpful. This kind of articles should be promoted in places where the people come frequently..
I got the email that's offering to me for investment. Thank you so much for the information. This is very helpful.
Don’t understand why our government can’t shut down these frauds.
In reply to Don’t understand why our… by Terence G. O'Hara
* It's almost impossible to identify the individuals or where they are located.
* It's like playing whack-a-mole. Shut down one operator, and a dozen (or a hundred) others pop up.
In reply to * It's almost impossible to… by Seth Harbort
You stated that "It's almost impossible to identify the individuals or where they are located." Does that mean you had some success in locating them? If you did then that is something you should share with everyone. Every new type of crime creates another form of Protection for the investor. They, We, all need help to kill this problem. So if you have had success, please tell us what you did if you can, and who helped you.
People fall for the high pressure pitch. Using the internet it should be easy to spot a scammer. Unfortunately there aren't many PSA about this.
$130,000 of mine was taken by a romantic scammer. Was coaxed into participating in Financial Nodes SPACEEX. Was "guaranteed" money would be refunded, but no way would they do it.
Person is on Facebook.
In reply to $130,000 of mine was taken… by STEVE RUSCH
Same with me slowly coaxed and pressured y showing me the huge amount of money she made every day by short selling nodes a fake crypto trading platform scheme called Bitfinex me to invest and "teached me" to
trades it . all she did was show me how to lose 462,148.14 dollars
I have reported this to every law enforcement agency and demands the banks and coinbase to pull the money transfer back.they all lying and blame me .If I robbed a bank I would go to jail I was robbed and not protected by my financial institution. I guess they are immune from criminal acts, money laundering laws and regulatory Statues of customer care. The protect and allow these scammers to operate with out prejudice or fear of prosecutors.