How to avoid Internet investment scams
"Wanna buy a bridge?" If scams were that easy to spot, we’d all be safe. However, they are not. I know, I was scammed. I consider myself intelligent. I even call myself an "information junkie". With the wealth of information and resources out there I still got caught. It’s embarrasing to admit. I’m not the first but I’d like to be the last. Some of these things I simply should have done. Some of them I should have done better.
Here are some suggestions that should help stimulate your own thoughts on what is good due diligence:
1. Get it in your head that good things take time, some shorter than others but "overnight success" is an oxymoron in the financial world. Success, by definition, should include longevity. If it’s too good to be true, it’s a lie.
2. Do the research. It takes time but you must do it. Take the stance that the company is false until proven legitimate. Question everything they say. They should be willing to answer all of you questions without frustration or impatience.
*Make sure that the resources telling you that it’s a good deal weren’t falsely created by the scammers themselves.
*Find real people to contact that have had experience with the company good or bad.
*Make sure the company has been in business two or three years, minimum. It can take that long for scammers to move on sometimes.
*Make sure they have a real office with a phone number you can call and speak to a person not just a machine, and an address someone can visit or where you can ship something to. If they won’t give you a physical address, don’t give them a dime.
*Make sure they bank in North America. Even if they are a foreign based company, any legitimate organization will have accounts in North America to facilitate business. Check out the bank also. Does it really exist.
*Check sites that report scammers. Chances are you’re not the first, don’t be the last.
3. Take your time. If they have time limits on when you can invest, it’s a tactic. You can afford to wait. Perhaps the information telling you the truth about a company is just a day away. Exhaust your research before you invest.
4. Tell your spouse, your friends and even an investment adviser. Get other opinions and heed them. Their perspective might be invaluable in keeping your head out of clouds, your feet on the ground and your money in your pocket.
5. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. If the money disappeared how would you pay your bills? retire? eat?
6. Diversify. Never put all your money in one investment tool.
If you can’t find a suitable answer to your questions, then keep your money. Better to have kept what you have and not gained, than to have lost precious ground.
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