What is a Ponzi Scheme scam?

Ponzi Scheme is false returns on an investment in order to get the confidence of an investor. A scam artist may pay money out of their own pockets in order to convince an investor to give them more access to their portfolio. This particular scam relies on your natural desire to make easy money. This particular scam is named after Charles Ponzi who all though was not the first, was possibly the worst. At the beginning of the century he swindled around $500,000 from investors, and was eventually caught and spent three and a half years in prison. The scam has many variations and may look very different, here is some things to look for:

  • Any promise of a return higher than 0.1% return per day.
  • A request for a much higher investment after an initial successful campaign.
  • You have never heard of the investment company

The bottom line with investing and letting anyone have access to your portfolio is do your research. Scam artists are very clever and charming and can fool even savvy investors.



Beware of get rich quick scams and pyramid schemes

The way these get rich quick scams work is by getting you to give them your money. Basically you buy their program and they will teach you how to rip other people off. Its kind of like the add in the paper that says send me 5 dollars and I will send you the secret to making a million dollars. The secret is to put a add in the paper saying send me 5 dollars and I will send you the secret to making a million dollars. Sadly the target market for get rich schemes and pyramid schemes are the poor, the elderly, or people who are already in debt. And if you want to make money on a pyramid scheme you should start one yourself, otherwise you are just making money for other people. These are examples of common schemes:

  1. Buy real estate for pennies on the dollar.
  2. Wealth building seminars.
  3. Risk free stock market schemes.
  4. Muli-level marketing (pyramid scheme).
  5. Secret ways to make money that no one knows about.
  6. Psychic tips or betting tips.

Here are examples of phrases to run from:

  1. Get in at the top.
  2. Send us money and we will help you make money.
  3. Business opportunities “they”  don’t want you to know about.
  4. I made $10,000 dollars in 30 days, you can to.
  5. Make money from home.
  6. Want to make millions working part time?
  7. If I can do it so can you.
  8. You don’t need any education.

Remember the scam protectors golden rule; if it sounds to good to be true then it probably is.

Better Business Bureau Scam

The Better Business Bureau is being victimized by e-mail scams that claim they are an affiliate of the Bureau. Businesses that display the BBB symbol are considered trustworthy and can lead to consumers letting their guard down. The e-mail eventually leads to a Western Union transfer that cannot be traced at the receiving end. The e-mail example the Better Business Bureau uses claims to be an escrow company that will ensure the recipient will receive their merchandise before the seller gets his money. The bottom line is that we cannot trust every e-mail and website that copies the symbols image to their document or site. The bureau recommends that you always check with them, especially when it involves large money transactions. You can research reputable business at BBBonline. Be very Leary of any e-mail Spam and do your research before you buy from any of them. You can also report any scams and frauds at Federal Citizen Information Center.  Here is how easy it is to copy and display the BBB symbol.


Children getting scammed

With the holidays right around the corner, I felt it was time we talked about how children can be the target of the real life Grinches. Unfortunately we have to keep our eyes on events for children. Two years ago David Lee Ellisor decided he would setup a fake children’s event with Santa Clause and even the boy wizard Harry Potter. He used fake letter head from the University of Miami and falsified sponsorship from local police and fire departments. The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that the pseudo event raised $38,000 dollars that went directly int Mr. Ellisor’s pocket. On the day of the event Mr Elllisor withdrew the money, paid off his new Jaguar, and split town. He has now served 2 years of  his 7 year sentence. Here is a short list of other examples of how children are  targeted:

  1. Charity funds set up for real children with real disabilities, with no intentions of actually getting to the child.
  2. Luring parents into believing they could get their children into commercials and movies, only to require an upfront fee.
  3. Using children to ask for donations ( this is really bad because of what it teaches the children).

This being said, I still believe that the majority of all childrens charities and childrens advocate agencies are legitimate. Remember you can always do a search with the Better Business Burea or Charity.com.

Are you good looking? Then modeling agencies want your money.

We have all heard the commercials “modeling agency coming to  the area”,  run away not towards! These  agencies  just want your money.  Here are  some of the  claims  that  these  Pseudo  modeling agency:

  1. We are very selective on who we accept into the program. The truth is they actually accept most people since they are paid on commission.
  2. We place our models in high paying ads. The truth is a small percent get jobs and they are usually low paying.
  3. We offer a money back guarantee. The truth is that they may offer a guarantee but you probably have to get a lawyer to get it.
  4. We can only use our photographers. The truth is that real modeling agencies require you to get your own photographs.
  5. We are coming to your town because we need models. The truth is real modeling agencies do not have a shortage of models, and you have to work hard and fight for jobs.
  6. We require a payment from you in advanced. Real agencies get paid when you get a job.

Remember modeling is very hard work, and although you can get discovered in areas outside New York and Los Angeles it is very rare. If modeling is your true passion then be prepared to move to one of these cities and starve for a while.wanda.jpg