Many people move to Florida to retire. And why would they not? Easy access to the beach, year-round warm weather and plenty of activities to enjoy are just some of the reasons why Florida is an attractive option for many retirees.
But before you get too deep into planning your dream retirement in Florida, it’s important to be aware that Florida is one of the most prevalent states for investment scams.
As such, it is important to be aware of the types of investment schemes and the steps you can take to protect yourself before investing your hard-earned savings. If you do your due diligence and arm yourself with the knowledge of investment schemes, you can avoid being taken advantage of by unscrupulous investors.
Check Out the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR)
One way to protect yourself from potential scams is by checking with the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR).
The Florida Office of Financial Regulation is the agency responsible for regulating the financial services industry, including banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers, lenders and investment advisors.
This is a great resource to use before you make an investment, as it can provide you with information on registered brokers and advisors.
Be Wary of High-Pressure Selling Tactics
Another tactic to watch out for is high-pressure selling tactics. Oftentimes, scammers will try to pressure you into making a decision quickly by using scare tactics or offering limited-time deals.
It is important to be aware of these tactics and not give in to them. If you feel uncomfortable or pressured, take a step back and consider all of your options before making a decision.
A good investment is one that doesn’t require you to be rushed into it.
If you feel that something is too good to be true, it likely is.
Be wary of investment schemes that offer returns that are higher than average or come with guarantees.
Similarly, it’s important to remember that investments always involve some level of risk and there is no such thing as a surefire way to make a profit.
While, yes, there are some investments that may come with higher returns than others, you should never believe promises of guaranteed profits.
Related Reads: 4 Investments To Avoid During A Recession
Research Investment Advisors and Brokers
It’s also important to research investment advisors and brokers before doing business with them.
Check out their qualifications, track record, licensing status and any disciplinary actions that may have been taken against them.
You can learn about their previous history by using FINRA BrokerCheck. This is a free resource that allows you to research the background of any investment advisor or broker.
If the person who is asking you to invest in an opportunity isn’t licensed, then it is probably best to avoid them.
If the person who is asking you to invest has a history of disciplinary action taken against them, it is important to take this as a red flag and consider other options.
Be sure to get all of the information in writing before committing to any investment opportunity.
Any legitimate broker or advisor should be more than willing to provide you with details about their offering and their qualifications. A good way to test this is to ask for their CRD number. Let them know that you are interested in the investment, and you would like to do your due diligence by verifying their license and previous history.
Someone that doesn’t have anything to hide should be more than willing to provide this information.
Don’t Commit to an Investment Before You Understand the Risk
Finally, it’s important to understand the risk associated with any investment before committing to it. You should never feel rushed to invest in anything, period.
Make sure you have read and understand all of the terms and conditions before investing. If something doesn’t make sense or you’re unsure about anything, don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek further advice from a professional.
It’s important to make sure you understand the risk because even if an investment does come with a high potential for return, it could also carry a substantial amount of risk.
No matter what kind of investment opportunity you come across, always remember to do your due diligence and investigate any potential investments before committing.
Do You Suspect That You May Have Been Scammed?
If you feel that you may have been scammed, it’s important to take action right away.
By speaking with a Florida investment fraud attorney, you can get an understanding of your legal rights and options.
Your attorney will be able to review the details of what happened, explain your potential remedies, and represent you in court if necessary.
Investment fraud happens and can happen to just about anyone.
Securities are complex, and as such, they are prone to abuse by bad actors. Most investors don’t have the necessary skills to accurately assess if they are dealing with investment fraud.
If you have lost significant amounts of investments, if the broker of a financial professional you are working with has disappeared, or if you have been given false or misleading information, then it is important to seek legal help right away.
There are ways to recover your losses, and an experienced attorney can help you.