Nineteen year old David Topping was arrested in North Carolina and charged with selling investors $130,000 of fraudulent investments. Topping contacted his twenty victims through cold calls and social media including Facebook and LinkedIn. He enticed his victims with promises of monthly returns of 6.24% for the investments in his company, Stark Innovations LLC which he said dealt with international trade. He further represented to his victims that the investments were totally without risk. Finally he also represented to his victims that the company was socially responsible, giving 5% of its annual profits to local charities. Of course the entire investment was a scam. To make things first, Topping was not licensed to sell securities, a fact that would have been apparent to anyone who did their due diligence research and had looked him up with the Securities Division of the North Carolina Secretary of State.
No one should ever invest in anything until they have done a due diligence investigation into both the person selling you the investment and the investment itself. No one should ever invest in anything unless you truly understand the investment. Legendary Warren Buffet resisted investing in high technology companies until he felt comfortable that he understood the companies and what they did. Many intelligent people invested with Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff without understanding how his investments worked. If they had investigated his strategy, it would have been apparent that it was a sham. Why should you trust an investment being sold to you through a cold call or on social media that makes outrageous promises that are too good to be true? Do your homework and protect your money.