How To Spot an Investment Scam

How To Spot an Investment Scam

 

Image of Lock with the word securityYou’re online, and there’s a contest open to all. You know the answer, and the free gift is enticing. Should you enter?

You go into a shopping mall and are asked to fill out a form to enter a sweepstakes to win a car. You’d love to have the car, and, hey, someone’s going to win it. There’s no purchase necessary, so why not? “Don’t do it!” says Eric Stein, a scam artist who was interviewed (while in jail!) by The Wall Street Journal. He should know. In his interview, Stein provides the following information that will prove useful in avoiding the investment scams you so often read about.

  • Don’t respond to email or snail mail that you didn’t request, no matter how legitimate it looks. Scam artists have become very professional and will produce something slick, glossy and easy to understand. Don’t fall for it.
  • The online contests and car sweepstakes you see in stores are both used by scammers to target names and addresses. Don’t fill them out.
  • Avoid funds that are advertised as “low risk, high return” or “safe,” or promise an outrageous return such as 25% per quarter. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Don’t purchase financial products because a friend or clergy person recommends them. They may have already fallen for the scam without knowing it.
  • Don’t talk to a financial salesperson on the phone if you don’t know him. Don’t be polite – simply hang up. Anyone can call himself a “financial adviser” or a “business consultant.”
  • Buy stocks only from a licensed, registered broker.
  • Don’t buy unregistered securities. Keep your eyes open.
  • Don’t let the fact that traditional investments aren’t giving you the returns you want turn you into bait for scammers.

Five Must-Have Gadgets for College Students

Five Must-Have Gadgets for College Students

Image of College Student with headphones on in front of a laptop

You’ve already got your laptop, tablet and, of course, your smartphone. What more can you need for college?

Check out our list of 5 super-convenient gadgets that every college student should know about.

1.   Smartpen

This is perhaps the most helpful gadget imaginable for students. Livescribe smartpens are incredible. You can use them to capture your notes digitally as you take them during lectures. You can use them in conjunction with your smartphone, laptop or tablet. Not only do these awesome pens capture your writing, but they also record beautiful digital audio that you can use to listen to your professor’s lectures again when you are getting ready to ace your midterms 

2.   Laptop lock

There’s nothing more terrifying than leaving your laptop on a table in the library only to come back a minute later and find it gone. Avoid this nightmare with this quick and cheap solution. Purchase a security cable for your laptop to keep it where it is. You can buy a Ruban’s notebook lock for just $8.99. The cable runs up to 6.2 feet long and will make your laptop immovable for everyone who doesn’t know your four-digit code. 

3.   Google Chrome extensions

All that research can give your Google Chrome quite a workout! Let it do its job swiftly and more efficiently by installing a Google Chrome extension on your laptop. You can download your choice of extension for free – and make your work a whole lot easier! 

4.   Dictaphone

Never miss a word of the lecture again! This is one of those gadgets most college students don’t realize they need until half the semester is over. An efficient Dictaphone can be left at the lectern during a class and serve as the perfect backup to spotty note-taking. Choose a model that is sturdy and solid with a decent battery life for the best performance. 

5.   Noise canceling headphones

You can control your own study habits most of the time, but there’s no way you can control your roomies’ method of dealing with schoolwork. If your roommate loves to party hearty in your room every night while you’re cramming for finals, or you just want to block out the entire world and concentrate on your notes, you need a pair of noise-canceling headphones. You can plug into your favorite tunes while you work, or even wear them without plugging into any device at all! You’ll have that quiet you’re craving and it’ll be just you and your work; you won’t even notice the distractions surrounding you. Study on and go ace that exam!