Protect Yourself from Phonies
-By Paul Hynes, CFP®
3 Steps to Help Protect Yourself from Phonies, Scam Artists and Fraudsters
When it comes to defending your money from fraud, you are the first line of defense. Regulators can only act on situations they know about, usually from a complaint. If there’s reason to complain, it’s likely that something bad has already happened. And it may be too late — the money may already be lost.
Here are three things you can do in advance to help protect yourself.
- Just say “No!”
Before responding to unsolicited offers, practice saying, “I’m sorry, but I’m just not interested.” Or, “I never make investment decisions without consulting my___.”
(Fill in the blank with: CPA / attorney / financial adviser / spouse / child).
- 2. Don’t keep secrets
Scam artists don’t want you to have the opportunity to uncover their scam. The more people who know about it, the more likely they will be discovered. Beware when someone says, “Don’t tell anyone else about this…” Always talk with someone you trust before you take any action.
- Trust but verify
You can’t always trust that someone is telling you the whole truth. You need to verify before taking any action. Always verify using third party resources.
- Is this person or firm registered and/or licensed?
- Does this person or firm have a clean record?
- Does this person have the credential they claim to have?
- Is the credential meaningful?
- Does this person or firm use a third-party custodian?