Investments can provide us with financial security, but they can also devastate us financially if we make poor decisions. Legitimate investments can go sour and cause significant losses. But investment scams can drain your entire life savings.

Israelis are no stranger to the threat of investment scams. Just last October, the Knesset passed a law that banned binary options in Israel. Firms had three months to cease operations. Now that the two-month window has passed, anyone involved in the industry may face up to two years in jail.

Even Google has made the decision to ban all advertisements for binary options – and cryptocurrencies. The search engine giant will also prohibit the advertisement of unregulated forex and CFD firms.

Google will begin restricting these advertisements starting in June.

The advertisement ban will help further dissolve the binary options industry and other financial scams that have caused many Israelis and other people around the world to lose their hard-earned money.

On top of all of this, Israel has made the decision to jail internet financial scammers. Thus far, five men have been sentenced for involvement in the “CEO scam” against companies overseas.

Israel has, unfortunately, become a hub for financial scams, but that should change with these new laws and advertisement bans.

While the government has taken steps to protect Israelis and investors around the world, it’s important for individuals to take their own steps to protect themselves.

First and foremost, it’s important to research any investment opportunity you consider. Check to see if the company is licensed or registered, and learn more about the investment being offered.

“Many fraudsters will first work to earn your trust and then convince you that there is no need to waste time ‘reading up’ on the basics of an investment when you could be making money right away,” says Meyer Wilson, a firm that specializes in investment fraud cases. “No matter what your level of experience is, there is no substitute for careful research and monitoring—each and every time you invest.”

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The higher the return promised, the higher the risk. Fraudsters often promise outrageous returns. There’s no such thing as a guaranteed return, and there is no such thing as a risk-free investment.

Investors should also be cautious of people who urge them to act quickly. Scammers often tell people that their opportunity only comes once in a lifetime and won’t be available forever.

Always take the time to make an informed decision when considering any investment.

Unsolicited offers should also be treated with suspicion and are often the first sign of an investment scam.

If you’re interested in an investment, talk to a third party about it. Ask your stockbroker, accountant, attorney or some other professional, reputable consultant.

Trust your gut, too. If something doesn’t feel right about the opportunity, move on.

Anyone can fall victim to an investment scam – even experienced investors. Laws can help protect us, but we must do our own research and vetting before parting with our hard-earned money.