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Con artists taking advantage of Facebook

… “With any startup company, early-stage investors that are putting their capital and their belief and trust into the company are exposing themselves to a great deal of loss,” said Walsh.

“The workers who often get stock options should the company ever go public, are putting in their sweat equity, so why would a stranger approach you, give you an opportunity to get in on this ground-floor investment — you need to ask, ‘why me?'”

She said con artists commonly manage to persuade investors to take part in their scams by dangling “phantom riches” –the promise of huge guaranteed returns for getting in on the ground floor.

FINRA recommends a few things investors can do to avoid cons: verify that the person touting the investment is licensed; look the person up on the Federal Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator, Google them; and get a second opinion from a licensed investment professional or an attorney.

Good advice from Reuters via … and, if you will forgive my immodesty, echoing my own post here at last May: ‘Good advice: Google the salesmen and their get-rich-quick scheme‘.

We’re all leaving a trail in cyberspace.