What Is An Investment Scam?

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Claims of fast, easy money can be very tempting, and free seminars/workshops supply the ideal setting to get people worked up about a new endeavor.  The lively atmosphere makes it easy to jump into what seems to be an up-and-coming investment product or business opportunity.  If you do buy into it, you are apt to discover that the information and products you paid for are bogus and your money is lost forever.  So, what is an investment scam?  Here’s how it goes down:

The Workshop Pitch

what is an investment scamYou receive a text message, email or letter, or watch an infomercial or ad, advertising a free lunch/dinner workshop seminar that guarantees to help you make a ton of money.

Apparently, you will get worthwhile information about how to run a profitable business or successfully invest.

The testimonials and “success stories” seem to indicate that nearly anybody can make money if they simply follow a few easy steps.

Some advertisers even profess to getting rich using their own schemes.

Sales pitches and advertising materials frequently make exaggerated claims, such as:

  • You can make loads of money super fast, despite your level of training or experience.
  • The program is a “sure thing” that will bring you ongoing financial security.
  • You will rake in cash by working at home or part-time.
  • You will be coached to succeed every step of the way.
  • The scheme worked for other members – even the promoters.

Considering Buying In?

Thoroughly investigating the opportunity prior to committing is a more practical and effective way to protect your money than trying to get your money back afterwards.  Here’s what to do:

  • Slow down and take your time.  Do not rush to purchase anything at a seminar or workshop, despite the cheery atmosphere and vigor in the room.  Avoid strong-arm sales pitches that request you purchase now or take a chance on losing out.
  • Check into the business or investment you are considering thoroughly.  Talk with seasoned business people and professionals in the area prior to investing any money.
  • what is an investment scamBe suspicious of testimonials and “success stories.”  The promoters might have paid a co-conspirator to give glowing testimonials.
  • Do not purchase from workshop representatives who hesitate to answer all your questions or who give very vague answers.  Legit businesspersons are more than happy to provide you with precise information regarding the opportunity and their personal experience.
  • Question how much money you are required to have in order to qualify for the business opportunity or investment, and find out what the company’s refund policy is.  Get all this information on paper.  However, keep in mind that you might never get the money back that you gave to a fraudulent workshop organization, despite what they tell you or have written down about their refund policies.

Watch this very helpful video on scam seminars:



Bottom Line

So, I hope I’ve been able to answer your question, what is an investment scam?

I leave you now with these few tips.  Slow down and don’t be pressured into anything right away.  If the investment or business opportunity is legit, it will still be there tomorrow.   And, trust your gut.  If it doesn’t feel right, 99.9% of the time, your instincts are right on the money.

Have you ever been a victim of a seminar or workshop scam?  I’d love to hear from you.  Please leave your comments below.


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  1. BobbyCorno

    Great post! I’ve been scammed, mostly because I failed to look before I leaped! Your system for how to spot an investment scam is very clear, step-by-step, and will bring folks like me who often shoot from the hip, into a good logical place from which to make informed decisions. I appreciate you taking the time to make the system clear, and I particularly like your attitude about helping people. Thank you!

    • Barb

      Hi, Bobby!  Thanks for dropping by and sharing.  I love hearing from my readers.

      I’m glad I was able to help.  These scammers are good at what they do.  They get everybody in the room so excited by what they’re peddling and make you think you’re going to lose out on making tons of money.  If it’s legit, it will still be there tomorrow or even a year from now after you’ve done your due diligence.

  2. Grant

    Thanks for the post. I fell for the very free meal plus workshop that you write about in your post, and it cost me $5000. I wish I had information like you give in your post back then. I especially like the advice to “follow your gut,” because mine was telling me to hold off and I didn’t do it. Keep up the good information!

    • Barb

      Hi, Grant! Thanks for dropping by and sharing.  I love hearing from my readers.

      I’m so sorry that you lost your money, but at least you can say that you learned from the experience.  I’ve been to one of these free lunch seminars and they get everybody worked up.  It’s hard not to resist, but watch how fast the salespeople abandon you when they realize you’re not falling for their garbage and then swoop in on somebody else.

      Trust your gut.  That’s my standard advice.  All too often, people decide against it and, sadly, you know from experience what can happen.

      Hopefully, this article will make people slow down before going all in.  That free lunch can end up costing you big.  Just go to McDonalds.

  3. gregS

    Hi Barb
    Like many others, in my search for online income, i have had my share of rip-offs.
    In my past i have been to many seminars, 1 day, 2 day, and even 4 day seminars. There are a trap, as they work on your emotions, and encourage ‘take action now!’, ‘buy at this cheap price!’, ‘last time offered’, etc.
    I have even got sucked into paying a 4 figure sum for a week long ‘property bootcamp’. LOL
    When you run out of money, they can’t get money from you any more.
    I was lucky and found WA. Things are now improving.

    • Barb

      Hi, Greg!  Thanks for dropping by and sharing.  I love hearing from my readers.

      I’m so sorry that this happened to you.  It’s an easy trap to fall into which is why these scammers are so successful.  They take advantage of people trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.

      I’m so glad you found a genuine online business opportunity with Wealthy Affiliate.  I wholeheartedly agree that it is the best out there and you’ll never find anything else like it as I’m sure you know already.

      Here’s to your continued success!

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