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Conducting an investigation into an alleged Ponzi Scheme has become all too common of an occurrence these days, but you are not the only one.

“Hedge Fund Manager Charged with Running Multi-Million Dollar Ponzi Scheme!”

Does this headline sound familiar…it has become a recurring headline as of late. In 2009 alone, according to research by the Associated Press 150 ponzi schemes collapsed; many of these are names that you have all heard of, but many others, most people have not. The details and aftermath of these frauds all sound the same from its victims…“If I only would have known!”

We live in an age where we have become more intrigued on getting to the bottom of celebrity scandals, versus learning more about who or what we are entrusting with our money and businesses. Like any successful investment scheme, it takes planning, financing and most importantly, word of mouth advertisement from its earliest investors. Most individuals are susceptible to being pulled into these investment schemes by those people they most trust (family and friends), many of whom have unfortunately not done their homework themselves.

How About those Guaranteed Returns?

The idea of conducting an investigation relating to a potential investment to find out the facts behind the “guaranteed returns” used to be considered an unnecessary waste of time and money. Today’s investors are thankfully becoming more aware of their surroundings and are beginning to realize that all investments have risks; knowing the facts of who or what you are planning to align yourself with beforehand can help you avoid being part of the headline.

Do You Need to Hire a Private Investigator to Perform Additional Due Diligence?

Unfortunately even today, some individuals still believe that they can avoid hiring a professional investigator and get everything they need to know about an individual or investment model by reading a subject’s website, “googling” the person, reading blogs or even talking to other investors. Now this is a step in the right direction and every situation may not call on hiring an expert. The SEC outlines several ways to avoid being part of an investment fraud, “pump and dump” scheme or pyramid scheme, but a professional investigator is trained to navigate the Internet and public records, get behind the information readily available to everyone else and to obtain relevant facts to help investors make “informed” decisions.

Conclusion

Word of mouth advertising has succeeded with keeping the investment scheme pool filled. Hopefully now, someone will seek out the facts and consider the consequences before jumping in.

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