When it comes to investments, it’s critical to ensure the adviser is licensed and the offer is legitimate. Double checking investment offers can save you tons of money, time and stress. By calling the Iowa Insurance Division or checking the website, you can rest assured you’re dealing with someone with a license who is in good standing.
It’s pretty simple. As you grow older, you amass more savings. This makes you a prime target for scammers. Your cynicism and critical thinking also start to decrease during this time. You become more trusting.
That’s why scammers use high-pressure situations to force you to make split-second investment decisions. Instead of giving you the time to consider the offer and double check its legitimacy, they put your offer on a countdown clock, so you feel the pressure to act fast and not miss out. So remember this: any investment should still be there after you check it out further. Never let someone pressure you into a quick decision with your hard-earned money.
Here are some of the ways scammers put on the pressure:
- Free Dinner Seminar: You receive a mailed invite to a seminar on investment products or you see an ad for it online or in the local newspaper. Be wary of these. The dinner is not technically free because they use guilt and high-pressure to make you feel like you need to invest in their products.
- Affinity Fraud: Scammers become close to a leader in your community or respected member in your religious organization. They then use this relationship to put the pressure on you to become involved in a pyramid-type scheme. Remember you can always say “no.”
- Ponzi or Pyramid Schemes: Speaking of pyramid schemes, beware when you’re promised high returns with low risks. In these schemes, the person selling to you is typically someone you know, and they can feel the pressure to keep the house of cards they’ve built from faltering. They need new money to pay back earlier investors to keep up the ruse, so they become extremely aggressive and pushy. Meanwhile, all your money would do is pay off initial investors and you likely would see little return.
- Crypto Currency: In this case, scammers are taking advantage of a subject many people don’t know much about. Once again, they promise high returns and little risk – both red flags. You shouldn’t have to go through anyone if you do want to invest in crypto currency, which is volatile just like traditional markets. Do your research, and don’t let someone pressure you.
- Gold and Precious Metals: Scammers claim to have direct access to mines for cheap prices on gold, silver and other precious metals. They pressure you into getting in fast and make it so that you don’t want to miss out. Check that the company is genuine and the gold or precious metals actually exist.
Again, remember that any true investment would likely have risk and be upfront about that. The person offering the investment product should also be more than fine with you double checking. Don’t let anyone pressure you.
By taking the time to double check before investing, you can save yourself immense money and time in the long run. Remember, the team of state government officials at the Iowa Insurance Division are here to help you. You can report scams here.