How to spot a scam is as much about taking time to think whether something is ‘too good to be true’ as it is, noticing whether the pull to engage and get hooked is coming from fear or greed instead of our centred self knowing our own worthiness and enoughness.
If you’re looking to make money by investing, chances are you’ve seen people advertising a “sure 100% return,” or similar incredible promises.
You might ask yourself, “How is this possible?”
Well, in most cases, it’s not.
And in most cases, the offers and promises are misleading, if not outright fraudulent.
That’s what this video is all about, why people fall for scams and the 10 warning signs something is most probably a scam. Watch the video now.
I also share about a scam I have only just found out about thanks to being alerted to it by a Wealth Chef follower on instagram who I will forever be grateful to.
*** SCAM WARNING***
A despicable scammer has used my name, image and brand to scam people via Telegram profiles and channels.
They are using profiles on Telegram to scam people out of money in a fake bitcoin scheme:
- @profitannwilson2 and
- the channel Future Binary Trading
Please do NOT follow these profiles or channel and be advised this is NOT The Wealth Chef or Ann Wilson. We do not invest on people’s behalf – instead I teach you how to be smart and savvy and know how to do it yourself.
Firstly we need to deshame being scammed – I’ve been scammed – hell, even the most sophisticated and experienced investors can get caught up in a good investment scam. Just take the Bernie Madoff scam as an example, where many “professional” money managers placed their clients’ money in his scam scheme.
So what are you the likes of us trusting, glass half full, naturally trusting people supposed to do to protect ourselves from unscrupulous con artists?
First we slow down when we are being pulled towards something. We slow down enough to let all of our senses catch up and join the conversation about whether this thing could be good for us or even worth looking into further.
Second, we take on a little healthy skepticism and run any investment option through the 10 PART SCAM ALERT CHECKLIST.
Here are 10 things to look out for that could indicate something is a scam.
1. If it seems too good to be true…OK, you know this.
You know it. There are the rare individuals who can occasionally make a mint on a specific investment, but they are few and far between. And even if they do, it’s usually a one off event. So if someone is “guaranteeing” a particularly high return, in a crazy short period of time, and claims that it is steady as a rock, you should run the other way.
For example in this Scam using my identity they are “guaranteeing” a 100% return in 24 hours – WTF!!!
That’s not even a scam alert – that’s a run for your life signal.
2. They are offering a “guarantee.”
No one can guarantee a specific return, unless they’re offering fixed income products like bonds, CD’s (Certificates of Deposits), Structured Notes and so forth. No investment return can ever be guaranteed!!!
3. It’s a complicated or unique opportunity.
Sometimes people claim that they have access to a unique opportunity, something that is not offered to regular people.
They might use fancy terms like “prime lending certificates” or “private placements,” or like these scammers Future Binary Trading 😫, which mean nothing but sound complicated. Or they may claim to have mastered a technique involving futures or forex or have “discovered” a new unique trading system.
4. New business models.
Maybe you are offered the chance to get in on the ground floor of a new, “world-changing” technology. Biotech, green tech companies, AI, Pot Stocks and so forth.
5. You are brought in by someone you know as a “referral.”
These are some of the oldest scams in the book, and they rely on the power of social circles. The scammer will pay off the people in the initial rounds of the scam, in order to persuade them to give a testimonial and bring in more of their friends and associates.
You are convinced because you actually know someone who got paid the promised amount. You might get lucky and actually get what you were promised. But once the scammer gets what they want, it’s, “adios baby”!
Many con artists will pressure you with “limited time offers” in order to force you to make a quick decision. They don’t give you the time to consider whether or not their supposid great investment is all that great. They will often shame you and use languaging to trigger your feeling of loss and being stupid if you miss out.
7. They don’t use independent third-party accounts.
No true investment will ever “pool” your money with that of others and hold it in a common account. You should always have your own individual account, which should be held by someone other than the scammer, and you should have access to updates and visibility of your holdings.
NEVER send anyone money into an account that isn’t in your name on a platform you can verify and see.
8. Conspiracy theories.
Scammers like to prey on people’s fears. They may imply that the government is actively “preventing” you from your rightful wealth by keeping you ignorant or by preventing you from accessing certain types of investments, which the scammer can somehow miraculously get you into.
There are genuinely investments only sophisticated investors are able to access, but the criteria are clear as to what you are required to prove in terms of your investing competency to access them.
9. They are unregistered.
This is a no-brainer. Any legitimate investment company and the person offering the investment must be registered with the financial investment authorities of the country they are operating out of. And that’s a good indicator too, can you find their registration and licences to invest and trade?
Registration will not necessarily protect you but it at least gives you recourse if it does turn out to be a scam.
10. Really bad investment advice.
Scammers might suggest you put “all of your assets” into their investment. They might tell you to take out a loan or cash in your retirement savings in order to obtain the funds to invest with them.
The bottom line …
Use your common sense and anything that triggers your “is this too good to be true” safety valve should be a huge red flag…
But as my science teacher used to say…
Common sense is the least common element in the world
Your wealth is created by an ecosystem of savvy money management, personal leadership and structured consistent investing.
Please don’t let fear or greed keep you from living an amazingly rich and full life, with money serving and supporting you.
Ann (the real one)