In December, the TTSEC launched a media campaign aimed at generating public awareness about:
The intent is to help protect investors by providing information on the different types of investment scams and the associated warning signs.
An investment scam can take many forms and can be executed by anyone. In this article, we aim to provide information on the main types of investment scams evident in our local environment.
They come in all shapes and sizes
Investment Fraud comes in all shapes and sizes, and can appear in many different forms – email, on social media and even in person. One thing is for sure, the warning signs are always the same. Beware:
1) If the investment sounds too good to be true, because it usually is
2) If the investment is a guaranteed/sure thing – ALL investments include RISK
3) If the investment or individual is not registered with the Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission (TTSEC)
There are also different types of fraud. Fraudsters, are always on the prowl, so be ‘Scam Smart’! Lookout for investment scams such as:
Affinity Fraud, which may exist in your religious group or community, among the elderly or within professional groups. Fraudsters infiltrate and prey upon members of a group offering ‘too good to be true’ investment deals. These perpetrators thereafter disappear with your hard-earned money.
Online Investment Fraud
In an Online Investment Fraud, con artists reach millions of victims via the internet: Email, website, newsletter, and even via social media, to spread false information. They may even develop a web page to make their scam appear legitimate.
These scams are very easy to carry out and difficult for the authorities to track. So ensure you ask questions and check to see whether the investment, person or entity is registered with the TTSEC..Pyramid/Ponzi Schemes
In a Pyramid/Ponzi Scheme, the fraudster uses money from new investors, to pay off previous investors. There is no real investment. The scam usually promises high returns, which entices individuals, who later fall victim to the scam. Always do your research and check to see whether the investment is registered with the TTSEC.
Unregistered Securities / High Risk Investments
Too often unregistered brokers and investment advisors recommend unsuitable products that do not meet your investment objectives or financial situation. They will target individuals who are near retirement or are retired, or who have a low-risk tolerance and sell them an unregistered, high-risk investment product. Every investment, broker or investment adviser who is approved to do business in Trinidad and Tobago, is registered with the TTSEC. So be sure to do your research and check with the TTSEC first.
Think Before You Invest!
Beat Investment Fraud.
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