Warnings abound about scams all over the country, and oil and gas investments are not excluded. Whenever oil prices increase this creates heightened interest with energy-related investments. Although most opportunities are legitimate, there are some unscrupulous practices masked as a chance to yield huge returns.Notwithstanding that investing has varying degrees of risk, you do not want to make things worse with fraudulent practices. Unfortunately, there are promoters who look for ways to take advantage of the unsuspected. The best you can do is educate yourself on these scams aimed at stealing your hard earned money.Fraudulent Tactics Fraudulent sales techniques and tactics can take on many different forms, none of which are intended to help you earn money. Typically, these deals are structured as a legal entity in one state, but with physical operations in another state.Furthermore, the bogus company contacts prospective investors who live in a totally different third state. For obvious reasons, this ensures you will not just drop by the office. This deceptive tactic also makes it very difficult for law enforcement to investigate. Exposing the fraud becomes a challenge for you, the victim, and authorities trying to restore integrity into the system.Another tactic is to use what is known as “boiler room” offices to attract potential investors. These are phone banks where salespeople with little or no knowledge of the energy industry make unsolicited phone calls to the public.If you get one of these calls, they use high-pressure sales techniques to convince you to buy into their promotion. Some may even send you a professionally designed brochure to hype up the profitability of the deal.Avoid Being Swindled into the Wrong Investments While some con artists moved on after the end of the mid-80s oil boom others lingered and created new ways to deceive. Today, constant fluctuating oil prices has brought more back into the fold.Anytime economic conditions are highly publicized, it creates opportunities for scammers to step in and grab legitimate money. This means you have to take necessary precautions to avoid being cheated.Beware when you receive unsolicited promotions that you encounter on the Internet, telephone call or in an email. Ask all the hard questions if you are contacted by someone with an opportunity to invest in the oil and gas industry. Look for oil producing and exploration companies that are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and are well-established.