Investment scams - financial scams - Ponzi schemes
Getting the Money
Depending on the success of Step 5, you will now either invest more money or go find other investors so that you can earn a commission on additional investments or both.
Because your level of trust in his contact has now been completely solidified, you will discuss with the con exact dollar amounts that can be brought into the investment, whether the funds are your own or those of friends, acquaintances, family, or even borrowed from the bank.
7. Sending you home to get this money:
In the days before electronic transfers, the con artist literally sent the victim home to bring back the money. But in these days of Internet banking, you can transfer funds with the click of a keyboard, providing instant gratification for the con artist and the incentive to keep the ball rolling.
So at this point the scam is escalated - you are told that there are more opportunities available but that time is short. Any number of reasons for this are used, depending on the nature of the scam.
You will now feel pressured on three fronts, one being the urgency of making money before the opportunity disappears, one being the urgency not to disappoint your "friend", and lastly the urgency to maintain your "worthiness" in the eyes of the inside man.
With the pressure on, you invest large sums and/or put the pressure on your friends and family to join in the investment. If you bring friends and family into the scheme, you have now become a middleman.
8. Playing you against a big store and fleecing you:
Depending on the nature of the 'big store', the category of scam, you hand your money to the scammer once, or you hand your money - or other people's money - to the scammer over and over again.
Sometimes scammers will tell you there are certificates that must be purchased, fees to be paid, more product to be bought, just one more funds transfer to raise an investment to an acceptable dollar value, just one more debt to be paid, just one more thing to trust him with.
The scammer can keep this going until he's milked you and everyone around you right out of house and home.
Whether you have handed money to the scammer once or 50 times, it's gone into the swindler's pockets. This happens the moment the funds are transferred.
In some cases, provided you act quickly enough, a portion of the money can be recovered.
You have been played in such a way that you believe you are earning profits illegally, so any number of scenarios can be staged for you to believe.
You can be told that the police are investigating the inside man and that you had better make yourself scarce, or that the banking commission is investigating, or the FBI, or whoever.
If you have been persuaded that the deal is honest, you can be told that the inside man has had a heart attack, that all funds have been frozen or confiscated by some foreign government, or any number of excuses you will be induced to believe.
If you do not quietly let go, the next step is used.
This is where terror tactics are used.
This is the step where the swindler will use every sort of threat imaginable to induce your the deepest fears in order to prevent you from contacting the authorities for as long as possible, or maybe never.
The swindler will threaten you with anything ranging from total loss of all funds, to convincing you that you have involved yourself in some sort of questionable activity, to threatening you with maiming or death.
The swindler will use stall tactics by telling you that funds are tied up in a bank audit, or that transfers are frozen during bank mergers, or that the SEC is investigating the investment fund and no money can be disbursed until the investigation is finished.
The inside man is in the hospital, his mother died, he has been called away on urgent business and wasn't able to transfer funds on time ... I could fill up a few pages with excuses I have read, heard, or experienced.
The results are always the same - it gives the swindler time to wrap up his scam and make a clean get-away, and/or it gives him time to clean out other victims he has on the hook before making his getaway.
Once the scammer has made his getaway, you will no longer be able to correspond with him, talk with him, or even locate him.
Later in the tour we will show the 14 most common excuses con artists use for not returning your money.
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