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Easy Street is often paved with fraud

Many people hope for the windfall that will change the course of their lives. For some, purchasing lottery tickets or entering raffles brings them a small profit. However, you are likely looking for more than that, and so you look for ways to invest your money wisely.

If a recent investment promised you unimaginable returns, you may have jumped at the chance. Why not? Success with this venture may have provided the opportunity to pay for college for your child or grandchild, the retirement you always dreamed of or simply more money to save and invest. Unfortunately, when you realized the whole thing was a fraud, it was too late to change your mind.

The red flag of "get rich quick" schemes

Investment bankers report that a 7 percent return on a 10- to 15-year investment is typical and should serve as a benchmark for investments. The higher the return, the greater the risk. If someone promises to make you considerably more money than this for a relatively small risk, you should question the legitimacy of the investment. Some other warnings that an investment opportunity may be fraud include:

  • The investor needs an immediate commitment, preventing you from taking the time to properly research the investment.
  • The investor offers the opportunity only to you when it is likely that professional investors would have taken advantage of the idea if it were really legitimate.
  • Friends or acquaintances try to convince you to invest and may not realize someone has swindled them into a Ponzi scheme.
  • The investor is unable to provide you with documentation to prove the legality of the investment.

Fraudsters prey on people's desire to make money fast and their willingness to trust. By allowing an attorney to examine the details of the investment opportunity someone offers you, you may avoid falling into the trap.

Reclaiming your losses

For many, the discovery that someone has duped them brings a sense of shame that makes them reluctant to seek help. However, this could mean the loss of money they may have taken from retirement or could invest in other, legitimate ventures.

If someone defrauded you, you have a right to pursue justice. However, in most cases, you must seek help quickly because recovery of lost money becomes more difficult as time passes. By contacting an attorney who has a history of success recovering losses for people who have been defrauded, you may be able to reclaim the funds that were taken from you by unethical means.

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Kenneth E. Chase, PC  Law Offices

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