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Many people understand that investing offshore can result in some people saving tax, earning more on their savings and having access to a wider range of underlying products through which to invest.

However, investing offshore is neither the right approach nor the legal approach for all those looking to legitimately save tax which is why personalized independent financial advice is a must for anyone thinking about making any form of offshore investment.  Furthermore, a number of illegal offshore investment schemes exist which target those looking to legitimately save tax by investing overseas…and it is these scheme and how to avoid falling victim to such offshore frauds that this article examines.

As fast as internet based frauds and scams are becoming understood by the general public, so those who spend their life targeting people to scam come up with new ways to steal from the vulnerable.  And by vulnerable in this case, we simply mean those people looking around for legitimate ways to save paying excess taxation on savings and income earned.

Most people now understand that the concept of placing money offshore is not illegal – but few people realize that saving and investing offshore can really only benefit the few when it comes to specifically saving tax.  There are a myriad of other benefits that can be derived from placing money or assets offshore such as asset protection for example, but most people think the offshore world is simply synonymous with saving tax.  Therefore when a seemingly friendly person contacts them and tells them about an almost too good to be true offshore investment scheme that will allow them to anonymously pool resources with other investors and save tax, some people are tempted to give it a go.

Firstly – when something seems too good to be true it probably is.  Secondly - when it comes to schemes that claim to help people save tax, everyone should be incredibly wary!  Governments do not take too kindly to those attempting to avoid paying tax – sure, we are all entitled to legitimately make use of tax breaks to reduce our tax burden, and some of us can legally save tax by investing offshore, but deliberately avoiding paying tax is not legal – no matter which country you live in, work in or herald from.

So, an offshore investment scheme that claims to be able to help you avoid tax, hide money offshore and defraud your government from taxation is not going to be legal.  This means that it will not be regulated or safe and it probably means that the people running the scheme have no intention of ever returning your money to you!

The main difference between an offshore investment scheme and an offshore investment opportunity is the legality of the entity.  Offshore investment schemes are run by anonymous companies, usually over the internet, they are not companies that can be searched, traced or who have affiliations with any legitimate and well known financial institutions.  Offshore investment opportunities on the other hand are offered via independent brokers like deVere and Partners and are backed by legitimate and reputable financial institutions such as Royal Skandia, Fidelity, Generali, Clerical Medical, Scottish Provident and Hansard to name but a few.

If you are in any doubt about the legitimacy of any offshore investment scheme you come across or even anyone who claims to be an offshore financial adviser, make sure you do sufficient due diligence on them to ensure the person you’re speaking to is legitimate, the advice you receive is legal and any scheme or investment you consider is regulated, safe and legal and appropriate for you to utilize.