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

Investment con artists: unethical and always creative

Celebrated American showman P.T. Barnum allegedly uttered well more than a century ago the words, "There's a sucker born every minute." That now famous maxim conveys the idea that manipulative individuals can easily defraud gullible members of the public.

Most of us don't like being portrayed as unsophisticated and easily conned individuals, of course.

And, in fact, most of us aren't. Consumers in California and nationally are collectively well informed and cautious about their money. Most people are duly wary of come-on invitations to spend it, especially in the investment realm.

Being fooled these days is not so often the result of being swindled because we're incompetent when it comes to protecting ourselves. Rather, getting taken more frequently owes to the sheer number and type of scams - often aided by progressive developments in technology - that bogus advisers and other unscrupulous individuals have at their disposal. It is simply getting harder for even notably careful consumers to stay on top of all the hype and ruses that routinely come their way.

Financial regulators make it a point these days to reach out to the public with mass-dissemination efforts to educate investors about bogus offerings and tainted get-rich schemes that ultimately profit only the scammers pitching them.

As we note above, there is no dearth of fraudulent schemes aimed at extracting money from Americans' wallets. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission spotlights these scams as being especially prevalent:

  • Affinity fraud (I'm a member of your group, so you can trust me)
  • Advance payment requirement (secure your certain wealth with this up-front payment)
  • High-yield results (get this staggering return with little risk)
  • Pre-IPO hype (we'll let you in on this money maker before entry is granted the general public)

Those are merely representative examples from a vast universe of fraud-linked possibilities, of course.

The bottom line is that every would-be investor simply has to be careful always when being pitched an investment opportunity. Questions or concerns regarding any offering or individual who is soliciting money can be directed to an experienced securities law attorney who diligently advocates on behalf of investors.

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