Con artists, short for confidence artists, are unscrupulous individuals who persuade people to believe in them and then convince those people to give them money for a "sure thing" investment. Most successful con artists look like regular business people and are usually smooth, well spoken and charming.
Con artists often work out of offices located at impressive-sounding addresses. However, upon closer inspection, most of these offices contain little more than telephones. Sometimes, the "office" address is simply a post office box.
Con artists choose their victims carefully, often buying lists of names and then approaching people on those lists. They encourage their unsuspecting targets to invest immediately in get rich quick schemes. They do not supply the victims with much information, or much time to investigate the claims being made.
Two common types of investment fraud are:
Common types of phony investment vehicles include: diamonds, sapphires, gold coins, and other precious gems and metals as well as gold and silver mines, oil wells, oil and gas lotteries, agriculture, livestock, and art work.
Watch for warning signs such as unsolicited phone calls, especially those that include any or all of the following characteristics: fantastic claims, compromising offers, guilt-selling, ground floor deals, verbal information only (no written follow up), new inventions, now-or-never opportunities, or lack of time to investigate the offer.
If you think you have been taken, report the matter quickly, to your local police department or RCMP detachment. Con artists count on the chance that you will delay reporting scams. Your prompt complaint may keep others from being defrauded.
For more information on this and other investment scams contact: