Build a No-Scam Zone

Physician's Money Digest, November15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 21

Scammers think all physicians havedeep pockets, which makes them favoritetargets. Unfortunately, busy doctors don'talways have time to do due diligence, andoften end up as scam victims. To protectyourself, here are some simple rules:

  • Don't do business over the phone,especially if the caller is not someone youknow personally.
  • Don't respond to unsolicited financialmaterials that come by e-mail or snailmail, especially if you don't recognize thename of the company.
  • Buy stocks or mutual funds onlythrough reputable brokerage firms.Check out your individual broker withthe National Association of SecuritiesDealers (800-289-9999; www.nasd.com).
  • Never invest in anything you don'tfully understand. This usually puts dubiousinvestments like limited partnershipsand similar offerings off-limits.
  • Be wary. Watch out for scam pitcheslike "low risk,""high yield,"or "completelysafe,"no matter who delivers it.

Even friends and colleagues can becomeunwitting scam promoters if they've beentaken in by the lure of the easy moneythat a financial scam promises.