Scams – be wise and be safe!

Scams – be wise and be safe!

In this electronic age where it is easy to create illusions and pretend to be something that we are not, it is so easy for con men (and women) to thrive, preying on innocent people. We are often gullible, through no fault of our own, and this is exploited by clever people who promise us the world. Sadly, these situations always end badly, leaving the victims devastated, often with severe emotional and financial impacts.

The scamster may tap into a person’s need to find a partner, using online dating sites and social media to create fake profiles with the aim of conning innocent men and women out of money. Be very careful who you befriend or speak to online, and do not give away any personal details. Do you homework on the person you are chatting to – from where they say they work, to where they live to any other information about them. And do a reverse image search with their photograph – you may be surprised as to what you find out!

When it comes to financial scams, there are as many as there are days in the year. These so-called Ponzi scheme are nothing but hot air. They are fuelled by getting new investors to join so that current investors can be paid out the promised high returns. There is no business or product behind these schemes. Their business is attracting new investors with new money, and eventually this dries up, and the scheme collapses because there is just not enough money flowing in to keep paying to investors.

These schemes tap into our sense of greed, either because we see an easy way of getting out of a difficult financial situation, or because we are just attracted to the promise of getting rich quick. When things go wrong, there can be tragic consequences, as we saw earlier this year when Aneesa Arrison, a 43 year old Cape Town mother of four, shot her children and herself after she had invested R1m of her late husband’s pension money in a suspected Ponzi scheme, 4th Power Investment.

If anything seems to be too good to be true, then it probably is. Be very vigilant of promises that are made to you, even if it is recommended by friends or family members. They could also just be falling for the scam without realizing it. If you are in doubt, or just want to check if the organsation offering the investment is for real, give me a shout. Rather spend ten minutes of you time checking up, than losing your hard-earned money!

 

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