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You Will Need
- Healthy skepticism
- &amp;amp;quot;How to Spot a Free Lunch Scam&amp;amp;quot;
Explain that many free-lunch seminar presenters claim that "nothing will be sold" at the actual presentation. But odds are anyone who goes will get a sales pitch at a later date -- sometimes using high-pressure tactics.
Ask the right questions
If the presenter tries to sell anything, tell your friend to ask these 3 questions: Are you licensed to sell this product? Who are you registered with? And, is this investment registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission?
Check the answers
Stress the importance of checking the seller's answers, and offer to help do it. Look for proof of registration of the seller and the product. "SaveAndInvest.org":http://www.saveandinvest.org/ can walk you both through the vetting process. Or call (888) 295-7422.
Report suspicious information
Urge them to report any irregularities to the proper authorities -- FINRA, the SEC, or their state securities or insurance regulator. "SaveAndInvest.org":http://www.saveandinvest.org/ can help you determine where to report your suspicions.
It’s OK to walk away
If the professional is not registered and the product is not registered, tell your friend to walk away.
Become a monitor
Become a Free Lunch Monitor -- someone who audits free-lunch financial seminars and workshops and reports any suspicious activities. You or your friend can download the Free Lunch Monitor tool kit at "createthegood.org":http://createthegood.org/, and use the checklist found in the how-to guide to rate investment presentations and submit your ratings to AARP.