Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 12th 2015 Contents SBG10 PERSONAL FINANCE
SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt APRIL 12 • 2015
We all want to
and as such
we tend to
our money, in investment instruments which
we believe will help us achieve our goals. How-
ever in our quest to find great investment
opportunities for our money, some of us tend
to fall for fraudulent investment schemes. We
want you to be a wise investor and exercise
your due diligence by being aware of some of
the tricks that a fraudster may try on you.
Here are some that we will like you to remem-
1. "This investment is guaranteed."
Investing and trading in stocks always have
an element of risk and this is partly because
stock market values fluctuate based on market
2. "I am offering you double the returns
which you can t get anywhere else."
Don t get caught by the promise of quick
and easy money or high returns. Fraudsters
always make their scam sound more attractive
than what you can get legitimately.
3. "You know, not many people know about
this deal. Now is a great time to trade and
Be careful that you don t get involved in
insider trading. If individuals trade on infor-
mation that is not yet public, they may be
guilty of an offence that could earn them fines
of $10 million and imprisonment for 10 years,
4. "Other smart people like you have already
joined and are making a fortune."
Complimenting your intellect tends to mas-
sage your ego. Fraudsters seek to make you
more comfortable with the deal by adding
that others "like you" are already involved.
This is known as the "herd mentality." They
are the shepherds, don t become the sheep.
5. "This deal is going fast and will not be
around for long. You must act soon! "
Acting quickly or in a panic, so as not to
lose "a deal", is a sure way to make you overlook
the important details of an investment oppor-
tunity. Those details are what you may need
to clarify to ensure as much as possible, that
there are no potential problems.
6. "Just make the cheque out to me. It s a
lot easier that way."
A cheque made out to an individual rather
than to a firm is more likely to be misappro-
priated. Even so, verify the bona fides of any
company with which you are doing business
first, before making a payment.
7. "Believe me, with my educational qual-
ifications, my vast knowledge of the industry
and my track record, I will never sell something
that isn t a winner."
Try to differentiate between a sales pitch
with its resultant exaggeration and valid skills.
Check multiple references before making your
decision. Remember titles, background, and
past performance are no guarantee of honesty
or the performance of the product.
8. "I ll give you a special deal of half off my
normal commission if you invest today."
He says that line to all his targets. Anytime
a seller offers you a discount, be assured that
he can go much lower with his sales price,
because the principles of business dictate that
he will never sell at a loss. Don t let a low
price prevent you from doing your due dili-
9. "I m sorry, but it doesn t take a rocket
scientist to understand this."
Freely dispensing jargon throughout their
sales pitch is designed to keep you confused.
This helps them make you feel inferior and
thus, you are conditioned to trust their sup-
posedly superior knowledge.
10. "This is available only to a special group
of lucky people, and I ve decided to include
We all like to feel special. Appealing to this
trait as well as the promise of easy money,
makes many persons feel as though they have
hit the jackpot. This lessens the willingness
to question the deal.
And three things
Here are some of the things, the
fraudster/conman will not tell you.
1. "Here is the Web site and phone number
for the agency that regulates this business.
Check with them before you decide"
The LAST thing fraudsters want you to do
is to check their background. Do not proceed
if the person or business entity does not appear
in a database where he/it should be registered.
The TTSEC is the regulator for the securities
industry in Trinidad and Tobago therefore we
urge you to visit our website to verify the
validity of the product and seller of the product,
before parting with your hard earned money.
2. "Why don t you ask a professional within
the industry or someone you know to review
or give you feedback on this financial oppor-
You will probably never hear a fraudster
recommend that you get a second opinion
from an independent person that they don t
know. They would not want to risk someone
else seeing through their schemes and telling
you not to participate.
3. "You know, fraud costs unsuspecting per-
sons thousands of dollars every year."
A fraudster would never hint that the easy
riches that they promised, come with some
level of risk.
Did you know?
Many victims of investment fraud are people
whom you would least expect. In fact, even
professionals and those who have some famil-
iarity with financial products have been
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true,
it usually is!
Don t be the next victim!
The T&T Securities and Exchange Com-
mission is not an investor adviser nor is it
a brokerage house. This article is intended
solely to provide you with the information
you need to make sound investment deci-
sions and to ensure that you are familiar
with and understand your rights and respon-
sibilities as a consumer of financial serv-
To learn more, visit www.ttsec.org.tt, fol-
low us on Facebook or call 624 2991
10 things a fraudster may tell you
T&T Securities and
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