Think it’s just the uneducated or the elderly who fall for Ponzi schemes and deceptive infomercials? Think again. Many victims, particularly those of investment fraud, are educated, wealthy, and financially literate, according to an AARP Foundation study.
Consider the case of Bernard Madoff, whose notorious investment scandal fooled thousands of individuals, including celebrities (Steven Spielberg), financial institutions (HSBC), and schools (New York University).
How exactly does this happen?Here are some more factors that contribute to our poor decisions…
Here’s a hint: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Take that as your first signal to do some investigating.
If you’re unsure if you’re dealing with a legitimate source, look up the contact info of the company or organization (even if a number is provided in the literature you have in your hand), call the number you find, and ask questions to see if all the facts match up. If a scam artist appears at your door, always ask to see identification – and don’t hesitate to turn him away if that quick flash of a badge seems suspicious.
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