What a Scam Looks Like: Revisited
I’m a little bit sad today.
I feel like I haven’t done my civil service properly.
A bit over a month ago on 15 August, I wrote to you here in Money Morning. The title of my essay was, This Is What a Scam Looks Like: Part 1.
The very next day I followed up with, This Is What a Scam Looks Like: Part 2.
These were very important essays to read because it would help you see through some of the (many) financial scams out there. This one in particular was targeting those interested and keen on cryptocurrency investment.
Now the reason I wrote these two pieces was because I had a reader email me to ask me about them.
The reader wasn’t asking in terms of, ‘is this a scam?’ No, they were asking in terms of, ‘can you tell me about this company?’
What I mean by that is they’d already succumbed to the scam. They hadn’t realised in the first instance this was a scam. They thought the email and ‘report’ were real and they wanted to know more about how to get started with the company behind it.
Luckily this reader emailed us first before taking action. And we replied to them to say that it had all the hallmarks and red flags of a scam.
And I then subsequently followed up with the pieces in Money Morning because I had personally started receiving these emails as well. And if I was getting them, then there were likely hundreds — even thousands — more people also getting them.
And of course this wasn’t the first time we’d had to warn people of scams in the financial and cryptocurrency world. We regularly get questions from readers, from friends and family asking us about these kinds of reports and trading systems that all ultimately are some form of a scam.
The reason I’m writing about all this again so soon after my last essay is that I fear we were too late.
One victim is one too many
Today a friend sent me a link to a news report from the ABC. The headline of the report was: ‘Scam using fake ABC News stories about Andrew Forrest sees woman fleeced of $670,000.’
It went on to explain:
‘Over several months she transferred a total of $670,000 to the scammers, believing it was being invested on her behalf.
‘The woman said at first she believed the site was legitimate as the advertisements on Facebook and LinkedIn which included fake interviews with Mr Forrest claimed to be from reputable news agencies, including the ABC.’
And continued to say:
‘Fraudsters transferred back about $50,000 when she asked for some of her investment to be repaid and she was sent a $2,700 Louis Vuitton handbag as a birthday present while the scam was running.
‘But then when she started asking for more money back, the company suddenly became hard to contact.’
This was back in March 2019. But it was the exact same scam we’d written to you about just a short while ago. We’re sad to hear that an innocent lady and her husband lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to this scam.
We wish we’d been alerted to it sooner and had a chance to warn more people about it. Would we have reached that particular lady? I don’t know. I’d hope so.
The fact is that she’s probably not alone. There’s a good chance this very scam has fleeced more people. She’s clearly courageous enough to share her story. I’m sure plenty more aren’t due to sheer embarrassment.
But if you’re a victim to a scam, you shouldn’t be embarrassed. These scams are well constructed and made to look legitimate.
What you should do is familiarise yourself with these kinds of scams so that you know what to look out for. And if you’re ever in doubt about what may or may not be a scam, reach out to us. Email us via firstname.lastname@example.org and attention it to me, Sam, with the subject line ‘Is this a scam?’
That will ensure we get it as soon as practicable and we can have a good look over it. If it is a scam then we can warn others. One victim for these scams is one too many. And it’s the responsibility of everyone to look out for these things, ask if they’re legit or not, warn others of them, and share information to eradicate them from our networks.
I hope that when you see what happened to this poor lady and our warnings about this scam, you pass it on and let as many people know as you can.
We’ve seen variations on it with other notable investors and media personalities. But it’s all very much from the same playbook.
Hopefully you know by now, this is a big juicy scam and to avoid it like the plague. And again if you’re ever unsure about something, email us, or reach out to me on Twitter @techinsider_sv or Facebook — ‘Sam Volkering – Editor, Crypto Expert, Advisor’.
Editor, Money Morning
PS: Next week I’m spending the week at the SIBOS conference in London. It’s one of the world’s biggest banking and finance conferences. It’ll be my fifth appearance at it. I always find it one of the most insightful conferences when it comes to the future of finance and banking. In fact it was at SIBOS in Singapore in 2015 when I interviewed then CEO of Ripple, Chris Larsen, well before most people knew about cryptocurrency. I expect again this year’s edition to be just as exciting.
I’ll be covering the conference in Money Morning which you can read about on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. And of course follow me on Twitter or Facebook for more ‘real-time’ coverage, tweets and posts from SIBOS.