International business · Investments

Should I be concerned if an investor finder has asked for my passport # for identity verification?

Frank A CoFounder, UI/UX designer

July 3rd, 2019

The gentleman is off shore and we're a little nervous about giving out information. Should we be concerned about the passport # request?


Max Tech, InfoSec, Risk Management

July 3rd, 2019

Did this start as a "business proposal" and an invite to connect'? CFL seems to have pest control challenges. There are very elaborate advanced scammers out there, specifically targeting creative/design professionals. Apply common sense and minimize sharing of your personally identifiable data.

Fred Cohen We help grow companies

July 4th, 2019

You should not provide them your passport information, and having not done so, you should not be concerned about that.

As a rule, an "investor finder" has to reveal the details of the relationships (according to US and most US state law I am aware of) on both side to each other, and each has to agree to the terms of the finding. Also, the finder cannot provide any details other than an introduction.

Some finders do background checks, others do nothing.

My personal perspective is that I would not use such a service offered in that way.

Fred Cohen We help grow companies

July 5th, 2019

Per Paul's suggestion - re telling something that might not be true...

I have a policy of not lying - except of course to save a life or some such thing.

My firm belief is that you should always tell the truth as you see it to people.

If you want to question this person because you think it is shady, you might consider just explaining your perspective. You can also ignore them from now on. Or you can tell them you decide not to continue with them. Or whatever the truth is.

I find being direct, open, and honest is a better approach in almost all cases. But if you don't want to do that, at least find something true you can say that gets the job done. Remember, it takes years/decades to build up your reputation, and only one moment to destroy it (although there are folks who can help restore it if your moment isn't too bad).

David M

July 5th, 2019

Frank, another thing to consider with all of this. Most serious investors and established investors, especially high net worth individuals will have either a CFO, or an Attorney, or both become involved in any proceedings once there is an interest. Granted I do not know the amount you are going after and that is really not important in this case because there is absolutely no reason to give this kind of personal information out. If anything you would likely be the one verifying that he is an accredited investor. But the proper and safe channel to do so is to turn over to your attorneys. Just make sure if you get to the advanced proceedings, you have a very good grip on the conversations occurring between the attorneys because deals can quickly go south when attorneys, who should be overseeing the legal side of things, begin interjecting tone and infliction into the negotiating. Again though, a competent attorney won't do this.

alexander kempe Investing in the transformation of Healthcare

July 3rd, 2019

Yes, do not share! That is an unusual practice and may be relevant at the right stage, this is most likely an advanced scam and there are various w very credible looking websites

Zack Thompson Serial entrepreneur with a focus on efficiency and cost cutting software

Last updated on July 5th, 2019

Hes not an investor, hes trying to steal your identity to sell it. You may want to sign up for identity theft protection and lock your credit scores depending on how much info you have given him. Lesson learned, don't talk to investors that are offshore. The real ones want you to have a valuation 1/4 of what you are worth with ridiculous traction, and the ones that are "interested" are thieves trying to get you to send them money or steal your identity.


Did not see he was an investor finder, even less of a reason for him to not get this information. He has literally no reason whatsoever to have this. If an investor really needed this, it would be just before sending you money during the late stages of due diligence (but even then they probably don't need it.) Also besides the normal reasons not to do get investors outside of the country, be careful of the extra reporting that this will make for your company. It probably isn't worth the extra headache even if they are looking to invest.

ismael kabore Multimedia Developer/UX/UI

July 3rd, 2019

Don’t share it! It is either a Scam or Some guy who just have money and have no experience in investing.

Lawrie Chandler Bb

July 3rd, 2019

As someone who runs a regulated financial business and raised startup funds often have to do due diligence If providers and suppliers. This means of getting IDs and proof of address (POA).

James Fairs CEO/Founder, IMI Innovations, Inc. - 10+Patents - Primary Designer and Fundraiser

July 4th, 2019

I personally don't give that information out. Not even to close domestic partners. There are many ways to verify identity and build trust without the Orwellian culture suggested by this request.

Bob Chalfant Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, Notre Dame College

July 4th, 2019

Don't even reply to this person, block his email and phone number.