When it comes to investing your money, never judge a book by its cover. Con artists know they must gain your trust before they can get their hands on your money, so will do whatever it takes to appear reputable.
So, what are the tell-tale warning signs you should look out for before investing?
Unsolicited phone calls
Be very wary of anyone who calls you, emails you or sends you a letter asking you to invest in something.
Promises of quick high value returns
Anyone promising an above market high return in a short time period should not be trusted. This is a key warning sign of investment fraud.
No risk, low risk or guarantees
No investment is risk free, and they can never guarantee what the return will be. Alarm bells should ring if this is what you are being told.
High pressure sales tactics
If someone is trying to make you feel stupid, guilty, or is trying to intimidate you into investing immediately just decline. All investments should be fully understood and considered, including the risks involved before you decide.
Anyone who tells you they have inside information that is not available to the general public should be avoided like the plague. It is illegal to make money on inside information.
It seems too good to be true
If any of the following apply, the investment may just be ‘too good to be true’: The returns seem to be very high, the investment is unregistered, you have to borrow money to afford to invest and the broker tries to hype things up.
The FCA have a Warning List where you can check an investment or pension opportunity and avoid scams.
The value of pensions and investments and the income they produce can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.
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