Investment Scams Proliferate

There are more scams on the go than just the high profile ones that you read about in the paper. Madoff is a very large example of some of the smaller schemes that proliferate online and offline.

There are far too many con artists out there these days to really take anything for granted any longer. You can thank the recession for that as more people try to find ways to make money. Let’s face it, investors are looking to recoup their losses somehow and on the other side of the fence, there are con artists just salivating to divest them of their money.

Be on the lookout for scams like the Ponzi scheme which dangles the golden promise of high returns in front of investors. This one works by taking funds from new investors and then paying off the first investors in the pyramid until it ultimately collapses. In the Ponzi, virtually all the investors lose everything, including the shirt on their backs.

We all know the real estate market is in a real mess and this is where the real estate investment con comes into play. It usually promises high returns for merely flipping real estate. However, investors lose out big time when expected work is never performed as promised or the house is located in a really bad area where no one wants to live.

A little closer to home and a bit more personal, is the investment/financial advisor fraud. This happens when an advisor without any ethics or morals takes advantage of their client not knowing much about investments. They may embezzle funds, grossly over inflate the cost of their services or have even been known to make up charges.

Another popular scam is the oil and gas investment con. It primarily assures investors they will make quick bucks on oil and gas ventures. However, these “ventures” never do get off the ground. Make sure you are aware and alert and watch for unregistered securities.

The worst scam of all, at least on a personal level, is something called the affinity fraud. The scam artist in this fraud uses personal connection to target groups, say at work, church or even a family, and lures them into making fraudulent investments. This one really hits home when those who have had the wool pulled over their eyes discover the deceit.

If you’re the victim of fraud or about to be charged with fraud, hiring the right attorney will make all the difference in the world. Don’t try to handle fraud situations on your own, as there are too many things that have the potential to go wrong.

Robert Webb is an Atlanta personal injury lawyer with Webb & D’Orazio. To learn more about Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Atlanta personal injury, Atlanta business law, Atlanta criminal defense visit, Webbdorazio.com.