How to say no when investment fraud comes calling

Posted in Blog,Fraud on November 21, 2016

If you’ve already fallen prey to an investment fraud scheme, an experienced attorney can help you recover your losses. But how do you avoid being caught in the first place? The next time somebody approaches you with a deal that is too good to be true, you need to be ready.

Scammers who operate in the world of investments aren’t dumb. They wisely target the wealthy, and especially those who are close to retirement age or already retired. They prey on the fact that you’re an accomplished person who knows how to handle money and is confident acting on his or her own. How do they pick you out of the crowd? Sadly, it’s fairly easy with the amount of information available through paper and online trails. They know (or pretend to know) more about you than you’d like. Then, they use high-pressure tactics that have been around for years and have drawn all kinds of smart, well-educated investors into trouble.

If you hear any of these tactics when you’re called by someone who claims to be an investment advisor, be wary:

  • Guarantees of future wealth that could be the answer to all your financial needs, such as a certain (very large) amount per month back on your investment
  • Claims that this is a rare inside tip and you’re getting preferential treatment because you’re a special kind of person (and other flattery)
  • Statements like “Everyone I know is doing this” that imply you’re part of a select club
  • Pressure to act immediately such as “If you do this today, you’ll save,” or “If you don’t do this today, you’ll lose out.”

Arm yourself with responses so you’re not drawn into a conversation that could lead you to doing something you never meant to do. Practice how to respond, knowing that it may feel rude at first but will get easier each time. Sometimes it helps to leave a note by (or on) your phone or a Post-it on the fridge with your scripted answer-after all, if they’re working from a script, shouldn’t you be entitled to as well? To end the call, try these:

  • “Thank you, but I’m not interested. No.”
  • “I need time to think about this.” (If the response to this is yet more pressure, then this is definitely not a legitimate investment offer.)
  • “I don’t make important decisions over the phone. Can you send me literature about this?” (Again, if they say there’s no time to do this, then it’s not a legitimate firm or professional on the other end of the call.)
  • “This isn’t a good time. Goodbye.”

This might seem obvious, but remember, investment scams happen every day to someone. That’s because the scammers are very good at what they do. Their tactics are still around because they work.

Don’t let yourself be caught up in one of these calls. But if it does happen, contact a lawyer who can help you. It’s not fair to be swindled out of your hard-earned money.