I bet you this would have caught Sir Allen Stanford right out of the gate!

#1 Find out if the financials were prepared by an auditor. Call the auditor to see if they prepared the financial statements.

Almost every auditing firm will confirm their identity. Especially when you are sitting with a statement in front of you with their name on it!

#2 Find out if the financial statements submitted were the same prepared by the auditor. Give the auditor a retained earning number and the profit number from the financials and ask him to verify.