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 is. Relationships 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.