(Free Press Release)

The North American Securities Administrators Association management estimates that unwary investors lose billions a year to investment fraud. Self-employment scams and high-tech schemes are among investments most recently heavily promoted by online. This tip sheet is designed to provide investors with self-defense tactics to fight off the promotion of investment scams by "boiler rooms," the high-pressure phone sales operations from which sales people call to promote abusive and fraudulent deals.
Shaw Capital tips on Boiler Rooms and How to Spot a "Boiler Room" Scam and fraud:
High-pressure sales tactics. Salesmen and the management may make repeated calls and even become abusive, questioning, for example, the intelligence of anyone who would pass up such a "sure thing."
Outrageous promises of extraordinarily high profit at little or no risk. The management rule is: The higher the return, the higher the risk. Listen for salesmen who claim it is possible to make extremely high (15, 20 or 30 percent) or even "guaranteed" profits without any risk of loss. Most legitimate firms will provide written materials clearly disclosing the potential for loss in an investment, as well as its short- and long-term tax implications.
A demand for an immediate decision. Boiler room salesmen want fast action before you have a chance to develop second thoughts or consult with a professional for advice. As a result, many deals will be "gone tomorrow," "sold out today" or have "just one of two remaining openings."
A reluctance to provide information about the sales firm or the investment. If a boiler room is uncovered, it may be subject to state or federal action. Therefore, some phone scam operators are not forthcoming when asked information about the sales operation and investment.
Mumbo-jumbo about "inside information" or "secret" technology. In order to close a sale, the voice on the other end of the phone may tell you that this is a "sure thing." A common claim is that celebrities, major corporations or banks will be investing shortly. Or the salesman may claim that a new geological report is coming out shortly. In other cases, the claim may be that the company is using some sort of hush-hush "black box" technology that makes it possible to process gold at a fraction of the cost paid by other firms.
Delayed delivery of the product and/or profits. This is a classic "red flag" of an investment scam. If you don`t have your investment in hand or under your control in some other location, you have nothing for your money. Beware of promises involving delays of more than a few weeks for delivery of your investment.
Unusual arrangements for collecting funds from investors. Some con artists try to avoid mail fraud charges by using overnight courier services (Federal Express or Purolator, for example). Other phone scam operations go even further-sending a courier or cab to pick up the check. No matter what unusual collection method is used, the purpose is the same: Don`t give customers enough time to back out of sending money.