We believe that the best way to make money is to earn it by providing a valuable service that people will pay for. Unfortunately, some would rather make money by cheating you out of yours.
We know that if a story sounds too good to be true, it probably is, but it’s not always so easy. Con artists try to get you to let your guard down by buttering you up. Often, a fraudulent pitch begins with the idea that you would be rich if only you could get in on those special deals that only the rich can normally get into. The con artist offers a way in, and people fall for it because they want it to be true.
Fraudsters also like to provide plausible-sounding explanations for their unrealistic promises. One of the best ways to spot a hole in their story is by looking for things that don’t go together.
A few years ago a client managed to avoid a Missouri cattle-feeding scam by knowing that “guaranteed returns” should not be in the same sentence as “cattle feeding.” The pitch for cattle feeding profits made sense, but they knew the cattle business had no guarantees. In the second biggest scam in history, the Stanford Bank claimed it could pay 8% interest due to low overhead, but another client realized that 8% interest did not belong in a world of 4% rates no matter how low the overhead was.
These schemes have plausible explanations on the surface. But even when the details sound reasonable, looking at the big picture usually reveals the details do not match up with each other. If somebody wants you to invest in a way that does not quite make sense, please call us.