Friday, August 12, 2011

Emerging markets are nations with activity in the process of rapid growth and industrialization, in which China is considered the largest. India is next on the list, but the truth is, more nations are in the developing status than those that are developed. Outside the major economies of Germany, U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, the world is undergoing rapid economic change which includes the infrastructure, method of conducting business and rule of law. Developing nations are still the Wild West, and are inherently full of risk. With risk comes reward, so the saying goes, but international private investigators are busy trying to minimize that risk for global clients. They're working overtime.

Countries like Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, Ukraine, South Africa, Brazil, China, Ghana, Colombia and Nigeria, among the other top emerging 65 economies around the world are undergoing a rapid transformation to participate in globalization and the new economy. But, stifling much of this growth and transformation is the threat from scams and fraud, which can be costly to investors, governments and individuals. We live in an imperfect world, so while getting in at the ground level on a gold mining company in Ghana, or an internet start up in Hong Kong may sound like a great idea with major potential rewards, it is not without major risk.  The unknowns are greater than ever.

Southeast Asia countries are seeing a sharp rise in more fraud and scam types than what most people are aware of on the internet. International commerce, investment and communication by default involves the internet, making international business and deals in emerging economies even more risk prone. The internet offers criminals anonymity and protection. It’s no longer just online dating, advance free fraud or investment scams. China, Malaysia and the Philippines, together with Thailand and Taiwan have seen recent arrests of organized criminals groups surprisingly large and specialized in their illegal operations online. There is serious money to be made, and developing countries often have ineffective and underfunded law enforcement agencies, not to mention corruption problems. These factors combined create a haven for scams and fraud.

Criminals are taking advantage of the global recession. Investors, both individuals and corporations, are looking abroad to find opportunities, seeking a profitable deal in places that are unknown and new, where language and cultural barriers make it hard to conduct international due diligence. It can be hard enough to verify contacts, business operations and proposals in your home country. Throw in a different language and continent, and due diligence and screening for fraud can get complicated. For this reason many investors and consumers are relying on highly trained international private investigation firms like Wymoo® International to verify business contacts, companies and relationships. Having a professional investigator on the ground where you need him, speaking the same language, utilizing local contacts, checking references, accessing local records and providing details of facilities is an invaluable tool at minimizing risk.  Not doing your homework can be costly.

Scam operations in many developing countries have become experts in business fraud, where their main targets are Western companies or English speaking investors. Experts say Africa, Latin America and Asia are the highest crime rate regions for business fraud and scams. China may be the up and coming world power, but by no means is it there yet. China suffers from severe overpopulation and also a serious problem with fraud. The ethics and policies of trading and business practices vary significantly from what Western businesses are used to.

Latin-American emerging markets are no exception. If fraud or scam isn’t present, there’s the risk for hyper-inflation and devaluation of the local currencies, not to mention kidnapping of executives in Mexico, or extortion from drug dealers. Each region is unique, and only a reputable international investigation firm with field investigators in the local area can prudently screen the case for fraud and risk factors, since each country and case is unique.  Be safe and verify the facts.

Best of luck,

A Hathaway
© 2011 A Hathaway

Different Themes
Posted by the Investigators

This copyrighted article was written and published by the editor and site author, A. Hathaway, or other guest private investigator, expert or contributor as noted.