- June 22, 2015
- Comments Off on Avoiding Fraud
Avoiding fraud may sound simple, but most people forget the most common ways to avoid being defrauded:
- If it’s a deal that won’t last until tomorrow or next week, it probably isn’t a good deal anyway. Honest business people are willing to let people take their time and make a wise decision.
- If someone wants you to keep the deal a secret, it is almost a guaranteed con, no matter how good it seems. Talk it over with friends, family, and an attorney. Letting other people look at it often shows it for what it is because they are not emotionally involved.
- All contracts should be in writing and all terms should be clearly spelled out. With very few exceptions, stipulations that are not included in the contract are not enforceable. The court will likely assume that any prior verbal agreements that are not included in the contract were part of the process of negotiation process and one or neither party intended them as part of the final contract.
- Be sure to read all the print, including the back of any agreement. There are often terms that are included there that will affect your rights.
- If you don’t fully understand the agreement, demand time to review it. If you still don’t understand it, talk to an attorney and get their opinion. You will pay for an attorney’s time, but in most cases, the costs are less than the potential risk.
- Don’t sign any contract based upon verbal promises that are not represented within the contract. In most cases, a written contract overrules any verbal understanding or promise that was made prior to signing the contract. In some cases, verbal promises that are made after signing the contract may be enforceable, but only if they can be proven.
- Avoid conmen by asking for references and then check them out. Conmen don’t have good references. Sure, they may come up with excuses why they cannot or won’t give you a reference, but if they can’t, walk away.
- Check with your local Chamber of Commerce and BBB. Make sure that these people with whom you intend to do business, haven’t left the last fifty customers holding the proverbial bag. A clean record doesn’t guarantee that there rare no problems, but a bad record is an obvious red flag.
- There is no such thing as a guaranteed high rate of return on an investment. If there were, everyone would be all over it, and the guy that wants to do business with you wouldn’t need your money. He’d have access to unlimited funds and wouldn’t share it with you. If someone says the word “Guarantee”, walk away. There are none.
- Conmen are smooth operators. If they weren’t, they couldn’t stay in business. Even if they sound nice and sincere, you owe it to yourself to check them out. Remember, successful conmen don’t get to be successful unless they are very good at sounding sincere.
- Some conmen try to determine what makes you tick. Look out for salespeople that tell you that they are just like you. Don’t buy the product or service based purely on what you think of the salesperson. They aren’t there to make friends, but most will make you think they are.
Having done it all right, there is still the potential to be taken. However, if you fully check out all your resources, you will be able to avoid the bad guys almost every time.