September 13, 2013

Reliable and accurate information plays a key role in investments. Without, you're flying blind and there's no way to accurately measure the risk and the potential reward.  When investing overseas, company executives, small business owners and individuals try to obtain as much information as possible.  You review the market trends, you spend hours reading expert opinions, and to the best of your ability, you do your own due diligence.  Whether you're looking at the European economy, or what´s going on in China or India, sometimes it's hard to know the real story.  After all, how do you know the reports you're reading are accurate.  Does the factory or office actually exist?  Does the company actually have the revenues they're reporting?  Is the person you're communicating with really the CEO, and are they truly offering you the investment opportunity?

Do you really know who are you're dealing with? Could this be an investment scam?

Investing is a situation where looking back is a good thing.  Past performance can provide clues into the company's reputation, performance and track record, and how the company might perform in the future.  A reputable private investigator or professional investigation company can help you uncover these hard to find details, and give you the insight you need to make an informed decision.  In short, the right investigator can verify the information and minimize your risk.

These are some of the scenarios where a background check investigation, international due diligence, or company verification can help prevent you from being a victim.

1. Don't invest or do business with a false website. Fake websites are one of the easiest ways to steal your money, and have been on the rise in recent years. Scammers don´t even need to make an effort on creating a believable story. They will just take the existing information of a real company and build a phony and similar website. It is sometimes hard to tell apart a real website from a fake one. In some cases, the website can even appear identical, but have different domain name and be hosted from a different country.  Internet criminals are getting creative, so verify the website you're dealing with is legit. 

2. Don't buy shares in a fake company on a foreign exchange. It could be property, buying commodities at great prices or more commonly, on a foreign the stock market. The problem is that you may not know anyone in China, Malaysia or India, for example, who speaks the language who you can trust to verify the story.  You need a professional who not only lives and works where the company is located, but you need a professional investigator who is trained to verify that there is an actual company and revenues behind a ticket symbol.  China is gaining worldwide attention for its fictitious companies listed on exchanges.  Many victims think it couldn't happen to them, but investing in a false company is not as rare as it used to be, and being listed on the NYSE no longer means it's safe and verified. 

3. Don't hope documents and filings are true and valid; verify the facts.  You might have even checked with the SEC or business registration office in the foreign country where the company is filed and has its  claimed office.  But, do you know how easy it is to register a company?  Did you know that in most criminal operations involving fake companies and websites, the company is a registered and "legal" business?  Crooks know that many people only check business registration and fail to do real company verification.  They in turn usually file a registration to make victims believe they are real entities. A reputable investigation company can verify the business behind the paper filings. 

4. If a sales pitch sounds too good to be true, it probably isRelationships and investment do not always get along.   Especially when your interaction with your so called friend has been online only! You might “know” this person for a long time, or even have been recommended or referred to this person through a trusted contact on Linkedin, or maybe were introduced in person.  The truth is, these days, it pays to be skeptical and most professionals understand that due diligence is just part of business and nothing person.  Let your contact know you'll be reviewing the information and proposal, and will be in touch after you've had time to think things over.  Then, consult a professional regarding your options for background check investigation, company verification or due diligence. 

5. Watch out for red flags, and protect your wallet and private data.  What may seem safe to you, may seem like an obvious case of fraud to the eyes of a trained professional investigator.  Hiring a private investigator can help you protect your private information and add a barrier of protection between you and your potential investment.  Investigators are trained at uncovering risk factors previously unknown to you, and can verify reputation, offices, facilities, ownership, history of litigation or fraud, revenue, operations and more. Never send a dime or personal data to any unknown business or company until you're sure you know who you're dealing with.  Be safe, verify and then decide.

Let clear evidence and verified information be your key to profitable investing!

About the Guest Author: Maria Taylor is an Investigation Analyst for Wymoo® International, a professional private investigation firm based in Florida, specializing in international background checks, private investigation and due diligence. Visit the company website at

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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.


  1. This was a great article. I really liked how you mentioned how to spot fake websites; seeing as how nowadays fake sites can easily be disguised as a legit site.

  2. Great information here for those who are looking for investment opportunities!