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Bait and Switch Scams


I went to an investment seminar and was very interested in the product that was being promoted. However, when it came time to buy, it seemed like they were trying to sell me on a different investment. I didn’t end up buying, but is this some kind of well-known investment scam?


Although it’s hard to say for certain without more details, it sounds like you may have just narrowly avoided a bait and switch scam. In bait and switch investment fraud, you are pitched an attractive product, but you are actually sold a different product. Sometimes this can be overt—for example, you come in to talk about the pitched investment opportunity but end up hearing about how great another investment product is. Other times, it may be subtler—for example, there’s a catch in the fine print or you’re given the wrong documents to sign.

How Does Bait and Switch Investment Fraud Work?

Although bait and switch investment fraud may play out in a number of ways, using a “free lunch” investment seminar is one of the most popular. Because you are already there, in person, to meet with the promoters, already excited about making money, and warmed up to the pitch by the free meal or gifts, fraudsters know you are more receptive and vulnerable. By the end of the seminar, when you’re convinced to buy, the promoter will try a “switcheroo” and attempt to get you on board with an entirely different opportunity that stands to better line their own pockets.

Although this tactic is often used in the context of physical products, it is no uncommon to see it at work when it comes to investment products. For example, you may hear about a too-good-to-be-true investment opportunity, but, when it comes time to hand over your cash in person, the investment promoter pitches something else entirely—or just slips you the documents for a different deal on the sly when you think you’re signing up for the original investment opportunity.

If you want to avoid bait and switch investment fraud, you should be wary if a much-hyped investment opportunity is suddenly unavailable and a new opportunity is pitched to you. Additionally, you should always carefully read any documents you receive, including the “fine print,” and verify that it sounds like the same deal you believed you were signing up for.

Ultimately, you should approach investment seminars with a grain of salt and always pay attention to the fine print before you decide to invest in the promoted product.

Get Help from Our Investment Loss Lawyers

If you do find yourself in trouble after falling victim to this or another investment scam, please reach out to an investment fraud lawyer who can help you recover your investment losses. Meyer Wilson has more than 50 years of combined experience working with harmed investors. We would be happy to discuss your situation in a completely free and confidential legal consultation.

Need More Information?

Investment misconduct can be complex and confusing. That’s why we’re here to help you. Visit our Common Questions page to find in depth answers directly from our attorneys. Get More Answers
Have You Been a Victim of Investment Fraud?

You trusted your financial advisor with your money, but now you're left wondering what went wrong. If you or a loved one suffered losses because of investment misconduct, Meyer Wilson can step in and fight to recover your losses. The team of investment fraud lawyers at the firm has been helping people like you since 1999 by winning judgments, settlements and verdicts worth hundreds of millions of dollars against brokerage firms, financial advisors and banks.

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