November 7, 2011

This is the first time in history that the whole world is in economic jeopardy. From the Baltic Sea to the southern seas off South Africa and Argentina, we see individuals and small business and large corporations keeping a close eye on their financials, expenses and business relationships. Cutting expenses is now a priority for people and firms around the world. The developed world is no longer a safe haven. The United States economy and dollar is near the point of no return, thanks to reckless spending and socialist policies of the Hussein Obama administration. If the trend continues, the U.S. will be sunk in debt. And yet, while the world is nearly collapsing, there are more countries and criminals taking advantage of those seeking opportunity abroad.

This is the case of the Southeast Asia region, where places like China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines and Malaysia are making good profit from scamming investors worldwide.

Paul Fletcher vice president of of international due diligence services at Wymoo® International LLC explains that criminals are increasingly using sophisticated approaches in targeting their victims. Criminals can now be referred or seemingly recommended by a trusted source, via the internet or even a business associate. These recommendations often give business leaders a false sense of security, causing many businesses to not properly screen their international business partners. Even if an international supplier or partner firm or investor comes highly recommend, experts urge caution and due diligence. Verifying international businesses and business people is more important than ever. The risk for fraud is high. There are stocks and companies and websites that take on the appearance of a reputable firm, there are representatives who are criminals that claim to be spokespersons or managers of real and reputable firms. The scam approaches are complex, and often authentic documentation or stolen documents can be used as supporting evidence. Criminals are often knowledgeable of the industry and offer a very attractive investment opportunity or profitable business relationships. In short, scams can be hard to recognize.

International background checks are an important tool in the screening process, and can go a long way in minimizing the risk for scams and fraud. Victims who choose not to verify, or verify to the best of their ability without hiring a professional investigation firm can end up losing thousands or even millions. A stock analyst or CEO can verify the numbers, make phone calls, and search the internet to be sure. He can look over all the documents and contracts and believe he is making an informed decision. But, if all the information is false, and the documents are forged, and if the business address is actually an empty parking lot or warehouse, most investors and CEO’s have no way to know unless they have a team of trained professionals on the ground in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, the Philippines, Malaysia, Russia, Vietnam, the Ukraine, China, Brazil or wherever the case and company may be. Local expertise and international investigation support is key.

Whether you’re considering investing in a Chinese stock listed on the NASDAQ, or investing in a gold supplier in Ghana, signing with a new supplier in Turkey or the Ukraine or Dubai, be safe and consider a professional investigation firm with investigators on the ground. It’s a wise way to minimize your risk and be sure the person or firm you’re dealing with is legit.

All the best,

S. Birch
© 2011 S. Birch
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This copyrighted article was written and published by the editor and site author, S. Birch, or other guest private investigator, expert or contributor as stated.