If you live in South Florida, chances are you have been, at a minimum, exposed to a scam. Hopefully, you didn’t fall for it. Here are three simple things we recommend to avoid falling for a scam:
First. Look up who you are doing business with. If the person offering you a product or a business does not have a physical location, a decent website, social media presence, or registration in sunbiz.org (the Florida Department of corporations), you should not be giving that person any money. You want to make sure that the person you are doing business with has some sort of physical presence. Physical presence is key because people with an open shop are less likely to flee or hide. People that are trying to do business from a remote, undisclosed location, will be very hard to find if they cheated you and you need to sue them.
Second. If it is too good to be true, don’t do it. If someone is offering you an amazing deal, something where you’ll obtain a 40% or more return on your money, then that is probably too good to be true. Most normal businesses or investments give between 3% to 20% on the high end. Returns on investment of 40% or higher are rare, and you have to be skeptical of it because it is either not true, or it is, perhaps of doubtful legality.
Third. If you are unsure, start small. If someone is asking to do business with you and for that, you need to invest $10,000, don’t start with $10,000. Start with $2,000. If the person seems legitimate in your judgment and you think you may be being over skeptical, tell that person that you want to invest small first. If the person is real, they won’t mind. Scammers, usually care about scamming you on the $10,000. They will not be able to control their greed if they know you actually have the $10,000. They’ll push and try to persuade you that the business can only be done with $10,000 and that you are missing on the opportunity of your life.
Finally, if you have any doubts about the person you are dealing with, and are about to invest with that person, it may be worth paying an experienced fraud attorney for a consultation so the fraud attorney can vet that person or entity for you. At Ayala, we have extensive experience dealing with fraud and fraudsters, and we will be able to tell you with a high degree of certainty, and fast, whether or not you are the target of a scam.
For more information about consumer rights issues, you can contact attorney Eduardo A. Maura at Eduardo@ayalalawpa.com or call 305-570-2208.