Red Flag 1: You must act now.
Con artists often use a false time pressure in order to try to get you to agree to a deal that you otherwise would never consider. If someone is offering you a limited time offer, or tells you that you must act immediately or you will miss the opportunity of a lifetime, simply walk away. The false time pressure is a tool specifically designed to get you to not think and to give in to your instincts, which are usually wrong.
Red Flag 2: Keep it quiet.
A legitimate advisor is not in the business of keeping his or her success secret. If someone offers you a deal and tells you that you have to be secretive about it or that you must not tell your family, this is an immediate warning sign. The legitimate offer is one that will stand up in the harsh light of scrutiny, while illegitimate ones will scatter like cockroaches once you shine a light on them.
Red Flag 3: A free weekend getaway.
The use of a free item to induce you to listen to an offer is also a common trick. Be very careful about accepting offers for free meals, free weekend getaways, or similar prizes. While the prizes are real, the high-pressure sales tactics that often accompany them are also very real and can lead to disastrous outcome.