Most people think they could spot a scam . But research shows that experienced investors are vulnerable because they are more open to investment opportunities and more willing to take risks. It also shows that these investors are more likely to make their own decisions, without getting advice from an independent financial adviser.
Make sure you know the warning signs.Five warning signs of scams
1. You hear about it from a stranger
If they don't know anything about you, how do they know what investments are right for you? Before you talk to anyone, get their name and company information and check them out with your province's securities commission . If you are buying an insurance -type investment, you can check with the Consumer Assistance Centre at 1-800-268-8099.
Tip: Choose an adviser carefully. Only deal with people who are registered to sell investments in your province.
2. You can't check that the information is right
If you can't find out what you need to know, beware. Always g et a second opinion. Check what you are told with a reliable source.
3. You hear you can make lots of cash fast, with little or no chance of losing your money
This pitch is often aimed at people who live on a fixed income, or those worried about not having enough money when they retire. When you invest, there is no guarantee you'll make money. And the chance of losing money goes up with the chance for bigger gains. Make sure you know what could go wrong before you invest.
4. You get a hot tip you're not supposed to tell anyone else about.
Scam artists use this tactic to pressure you into making a quick decision. They appeal to your fear of missing out on an opportunity. They make the offer more attractive by suggesting they have secret information about a company that the general public doesn't have.
Don't fall for it. People with hot tips usually have their own interests in mind, not yours.
5. You feel pressured into buying.
Con artists often try to make you rush right in. They know that if you have time to check things out, you may not fall for their scam.
Another tactic they use is to gain the trust of a whole group of people, like a church or community group. They know you may be more likely to buy into the scam if your friends already have. It's a form of pressure based on the trust you place in your friends.
If you don't join the scam, the con artist may try every trick they can to push you into buying. They may tell you how sorry they feel for you. They may become angry and abusive. They're just trying to push you to change your mind.Remember: A good investment sells itself.
It doesn't take a pushy salesperson. Never give a stranger any personal information, no matter how good the deal appears to be, or how nice the person sounds.