Like a vulture circling its prey, scammers flock to disaster as a prime target to break out a new scheme. With the waters from Hurricane Harvey still flooding the streets of Houston and the surrounding areas, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released an investor alert to provide information on good practices to follow in order to protect yourself and your investments.
Warning Signs for Potential Hurricane Harvey Scams
Scammers often send out a barrage of unsolicited messages, texts, emails, and phone calls related to the latest natural disaster, either to capitalize on the goodwill of people by giving information on crowdfunding investments connected to clean-up, rebuilding, and support efforts or to offer up the chance to invest in technological or scientific advancements that target current and future flood-related problems. Some common exploits include:
- Pressure to act immediately
- Comments about how low-priced stocks skyrocket in value compared to more expensive ones
- Comments on affiliations or contracts with large companies or the federal government
- Treating standard developments like working alongside a supplier like a major event
- Use of facts reported by known news outlets to boost claims of increasing prices like some portion of the billions of dollars that will be used to fix the damage caused by the hurricane will affect a company’s bottom line
- Predictions of rapid growth or price targets
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As always, the best tactic is to take your time to investigate any potential investment to protect yourself. FINRA’s Broker Check is one of the most valuable resources potential investors have, as it allows you to check out the registration status of any broker or investment firm in the United States.
If you lost money through a scam, contact our investment fraud lawyers at Meyer Wilson today. Since our firm first opened its doors nearly 20 years ago, we have helped over 1,000 victims fight for and recover the compensation they deserve. Send us your information through our online form for a free case evaluation, or call us at one of our offices located across the nation to discuss your situation over the phone.
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