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You may have lost money in your investment portfolio,
due to mismanagement and not even know it.

A cautionary tale: If it sounds too good to be true …

"[I]t doesn't appear to be happening," says a commentator in a recent article focused upon fraudulent financial schemes.

Specifically, what a CPA who regularly works on fraud cases says is not occurring is an enhanced sophistication among consumers in steering clear of scams geared toward emptying their savings accounts.

That assertion is buttressed by a writer who focuses professionally on Ponzi schemes. She states that at least a dozen such ruses surface nationally each month that result in civil and/or criminal charges.

Her advice for would-be investors who are considering taking the plunge on a given pitch: "If you don't understand it after a five-minute conversation, don't invest in it."

Sadly, recurring fraud-based stories consistently relate that legions of investors end up being fleeced on hyped opportunities that are, in fact, complex and often ill suited for the risk that they should reasonably be assuming.

The above-cited accountant notes that similar characteristics mark many scams and can serve as warnings to individuals and organizations that are being targeted by white collar criminals.

Architects of Ponzi schemes and other fraudulent offerings often link themselves with known and trusted companies, for example.

Additionally, they try to establish some affinity with their targets, such as an occupational or religious connection.

Moreover, it is often the case that, while promised returns are somewhere in the ballpark of believability when a scam commences, guaranteed returns become progressively implausible as time goes by and a scheme nears collapse.

Ultimately, staying safe as an investor is all about self-education, due diligence and trusting your instincts. Questions or concerns regarding any investment pitch or the person making it can be directed to an experienced securities law attorney who routinely safeguards investors' rights and advocates for their best interests.

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