TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - The offer is enticing. It's a hot stock tip, that only you know about and you're about to make big money.
The problem is who it came from and how the message was delivered. When you step back and think about it, why would a complete stranger email you and give you an amazing stock tip.
Financial professionals like Derick Gant of Smart Money Management will be the first to tell you that the odds of a great stock tip coming to you out of nowhere from someone you don't know is very, very small.
"0. The same odds as you winning the mega millions," said Gant.
This offer coming in an email. You'll get it for several days in a row, always coming from a different person. It never spells out the exact company, some of the emails have letters and make you figure out the stock symbol.
"If you take your hard earned money and put it in a position where someone just emailed you, you're pretty much wishing it good bye," said Gant.
Gant says on a real stock purchase, you'd get complete prospectus and they won't pressure you on some limited offer. The more pressure, the more likely it's not worth your time.
“To see someone, anyone take their hard earned money and believe they are going to turn $500 in $300000 is maybe not a life breaking amount but it's enough hard earned money. How many hours do they have to work to get that money," said Gant.
Once you decipher the code and the stock symbol, it may be a real company but there's no way to figure out if the information is any good.
Gant suggests if you are investing, maybe pick a stock or an area you know. Try to avoid a random company you learn about in your inbox.