2008 INVESTOR FRAUD TRAPS PART 2

Updated: 10/13/2008 18:30
Reprints/Permissions  Hyip Monitor
Promissory Notes For sophisticated or corporate investors, promissory notes can be a good investment, providing a reasonable reward for

Promissory Notes: For sophisticated or corporate investors, promissory notes can be a good investment, providing a reasonable reward for those who are willing to accept the risk. However, promissory notes that are marketed broadly to the general public often turn out to be scams. Promissory notes are sold as instruments that guarantee above-market, fixed interest rates, while safeguarding their principal. When interest rates are low, investors may be enticed by the higher, fixed returns that promissory notes offer. These notes, however, can become vehicles for fraud when the issuer of the note has no intention or capability of ever delivering the returns promised by the sales person; leaving the note worth less than the paper on which it is printed.

Pump and Dump Schemes: E-mail and fax spam, phony press releases and telemarketing drives are the tools of fraudsters who pump up the value of low priced securities traded on the pink sheets which are then dumped on naïve investors who purchase the stock at inflated prices. The balloon breaks when the promoters no longer maintain the myth that there is value in the shares and investors are left holding worthless stock certificates.

Real Estate Investment Schemes: As the housing market continues to reel from the subprime lending crisis, schemes promising large returns from various types of real estate-related investments also are increasing. Some real estate alternatives may actually be worthless real estate investments that promoters are trying to dump off to unsuspecting retail investors. State and provincial securities regulators also note that reverse mortgages pose several risks: they may not be appropriate for a given investor; if the homeowner chooses the option of accepting the funds all at once in a lump sum it may create a sudden supply of cash that may be diverted into other bad investments; and they enable promoters to gain access to a senior citizens entire financial profile. Such disclosure of other assets can lead to yet more scams?and losses.

Sale and Leaseback Contracts: Seeking to avoid protections afforded under federal and state securities laws, investments in equipment or animals are proposed to investors with the promise of a high returns and a guaranteed future repurchase of the product at full invested price. While these investments are touted as safe, the buyback features are unfunded and illusory.

Unsuitable Sales: State and provincial securities regualtors continue to see the sale of complex hybrid financial products, such as variable and equity-indexed annuities, to investors for whom they are not suitable?typically seniors. These products frequently contain features so complicated that even licensed financial professionals are not adequately trained to understand them.


About the author

Nicole Berger has over seven years experience writing and editing for online and print media. She has held various editor and associate editor positions in some of forefront independent media publications. A consistently dependable team player, I thrive in a high-pressure environment, enjoy the challenges of meeting deadlines and managing a team, and am comfortable researching, writing and editing on a wide range of topics.
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