BBB warns of investment seminar scams

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COLUMBIA - The Better Business Bureau warns a series of real estate seminars might not be what they claim.

This is the second time in five weeks these seminars have come to Missouri. Solicitations for the free seminars, hosted in St. Louis, were recieved by mail statewide.

The fliers said HGTV reality show stars would host the events, but people who attended house flipping seminars in late May said no HGTV stars were there. They said although the events were free, as advertised, they were filled with high pressure sales pitches.

The BBB warns people to be wary of anything they didn't ask for that comes in the mail.

Mid-Missouri BBB Regional Director Sean Spence said, "Realize that when you go to seminars like this, the people are really really good at convincing people to give their money." He said, "It's a seminar designed to give you just enough information to feel like you're getting a little something, but really it is to wet your appetite and get you to pull out your checkbook."

The BBB warned if you are not charged up front, chances are you will be charged before you get anything of value.

Spence said people are quickly pressured at these events to invest large sums of money in books, programs and future workshops.

He added, the key is to do research before investing time or money, and for those who decide to attend these seminars, have low expectations.