It is not uncommon that you probably have stumbled upon these ads where people claiming, “Want to know how I got rich quick? Watch my video for more!”. They show off their riches while standing in front of large mansions and Lamborghinis and if you continue to listen, they most likely tell you an inspirational story about how they came from rags to riches. We know this cannot be real, but we all have a small voice in our head saying, “Is it actually possible?”. Are they actually teaching us useful financial advice that could put us in jeopardy or are they just a regular old conman?
We may typically think of a conman to be the same thing as a thief or a liar but a true conman does not force us to do anything. They do not forcefully steal our possessions away from us, rather they trick us into giving up our own things. They are manipulators and we are obsessed with them. We see them in movies and comics but fail to see them in our day to day lives. Transition is their greatest tool. During transitions, we are uncertain about the choices that are happening around us.
But this is not saying there are not honest and golden opportunities out there to reach success but sadly they are small. So how can you tell the difference between a good opportunity and a scam? The cons typically follow a similar script. First, they mark their victim(s) and befriend them so they can start to earn your trust. Then, subtly drop a hint about the reason how they got rich by conveying it as a simple and easy to do the process. Lastly, they show proof of their success with a great testimony and their large following. After this, this is where the money comes into play, for a small price you can unlock their secret but do so, our money is gone, and hopeful profits never materialized.
It is not typically to give away your money and get nothing in turn but rather, a subpar product or program that does not elevate your financial standings much. Rather they boost your confidence than boosting your money while maintaining the thought the pot of gold is just around the corner.
If you have fallen for this before do not feel bad. We all are a bit gullible after a confidence booster. This time and age may be making it easier for con artists to scam you, but it also makes it easier for you to learn how to uncover them. Take the time to do a little research and ask yourself, if they are so rich why would they need yours?
Lucas Zhang was a Finance major at Ohio State University. He writes about finance, mortgages, and technology for Irish Mortgage Brokers.