A guide on how to avoid financial fraud

If something seems too good to be true, it most likely is not true

What would you do if someone came up to you and told you they had a great investment opportunity with quick returns? While only you can know yourself well enough to answer that question, what we can do is give you advice – run. 

There are two key ingredients in everyday financial fraud. And no, we are not talking about the kind of financial fraud committed by high rolling bankers, corporate executives, or government officials. We are talking about the kind of scams faced by the everyday, working-man, investor. The first element in these scams is the desire to get rich quickly. The second is the desire to trust. 

These two desires are basic. After all, who wouldn’t want to get rich and who wouldn’t want to believe that humans look out for each other? Wealth and trust are both evolutionarily wired into our brains. Yet both of these things can lead to complete financial ruin. 

Essentially, the scammer in question scopes people and finds the easy ones to prey on. Usually, these scammers are fully aware of what they are doing and are doing it with malicious intent. If they are wiley, they choose weaker targets with liquid cash and very little understanding of how finance works. They get these people to trust them by promising big returns. Greed and blind trust are a bad combination, and the victims of these scams fall prey to the scammers that target their ‘get rich quick’ mentalities. 

After all, the idea of getting rich overnight is wildly attractive and has been played out in entertainment media ad nauseum, from winning the lottery to a mysterious distant uncle leaving you a vast estate. At times this urge of instant gratification can be so overwhelming that people impair their ability of thinking straight and logically. Thus, end up being scammed. 

While we’re all out there on our own, what we can give you is a list of common scams that someone might try on you, and some general rules on how to identify scammers and people that are lying to you. (Spoiler: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true).

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Ahtasam Ahmad
Ahtasam Ahmad
The author works as a Sector Analyst at Profit and can be reached at [email protected]

12 COMMENTS

  1. quality information I will bookmark this and keep an eye on updates. I dont know if my comment is going to pop up because Im not very tech savvy, hopefully I can get this right!

  2. Short but helpful post to aware the people about financial frauds. Security experts say that you should always strengthen your password and make it tough to crack. Also, Frequently change your passwords to protect your bank account and other sensitive information. Do not wire your money / credit or debit card to a stranger or who claims to be a friend or relative. Do online transactions from safe and reputed websites.

  3. Insightful post but would like to add few lines – Never share personal and financial details over the phone or email. Do not respond to calls that ask for personal and financial information. Never share your One Time Password (OTP), Never share your Password, Never share your Reset password link and Be aware before you share your contact information in response to an investment promotion. hope this helps.

  4. 𝑰 𝒂𝒅𝒗𝒊𝒔𝒆 𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒚𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒑𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒆 𝒅𝒐 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝒓𝒆𝒔𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒄𝒉 𝒃𝒆𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒊𝒏𝒗𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒚 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒔𝒆 𝒐𝒏𝒍𝒊𝒏𝒆 𝒄𝒓𝒚𝒑𝒕𝒐 𝒄𝒖𝒓𝒓𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒚 𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒎𝒔. 𝑴𝒚 𝒃𝒐𝒚𝒇𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒅 𝒊𝒏𝒕𝒓𝒐𝒅𝒖𝒄𝒆𝒅 𝒎𝒆 𝒕𝒐 𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒔𝒖𝒄𝒉 𝒑𝒍𝒂𝒕𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒎 𝒄𝒂𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒅 𝒃𝒊𝒕𝒃𝒚𝒃𝒊𝒕 𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒊𝒏𝒗𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒅 $200,000 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒄𝒉 𝒘𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒈𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒆 $400,000 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏 2 𝒘𝒆𝒆𝒌𝒔. 𝑨𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒎𝒖𝒄𝒉 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒗𝒊𝒏𝒄𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒉𝒊𝒎, 𝒊 𝒔𝒂𝒘 𝒊𝒕 𝒂𝒔 𝒂 𝒍𝒖𝒄𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒐𝒑𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒕𝒖𝒏𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒐 𝒊 𝒋𝒖𝒎𝒑𝒆𝒅 𝒐𝒏 𝒊𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒊𝒏𝒗𝒆𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒎𝒚 $150,000 𝒕𝒐 𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒏 $300,000 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒎𝒆 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒐𝒅 𝒂𝒔 𝒎𝒚 𝒓𝒐𝒊. 𝑰 𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒏𝒐𝒕𝒊𝒄𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒇𝒍𝒂𝒈𝒔 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒂𝒔𝒌𝒆𝒅 𝒎𝒚 𝒇𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒑𝒂𝒚 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒔𝒖𝒄𝒉 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒓𝒈𝒆𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒇𝒂𝒄𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒂𝒕𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉𝒅𝒓𝒂𝒘𝒂𝒍 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒄𝒆𝒔𝒔 𝒘𝒉𝒊𝒄𝒉 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒏𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒔𝒖𝒄𝒄𝒆𝒔𝒔𝒇𝒖𝒍. 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒂𝒎𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒑𝒑𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒆 𝒘𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒎𝒚 2 𝒘𝒆𝒆𝒌𝒔 𝒘𝒆𝒓𝒆 𝒅𝒖𝒆, 𝒃𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆 𝒘𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒊𝒛𝒆𝒅 𝒊𝒕 𝒘𝒂𝒔 𝒂 𝒔𝒄𝒂𝒎, 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒂𝒍𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒚 𝒓𝒐𝒃𝒃𝒆𝒅 𝒖𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒂 𝒕𝒐𝒕𝒂𝒍 𝒐𝒇 $650,000. 𝑾𝒆 𝒐𝒑𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒐 𝒉𝒊𝒓𝒆 𝒂 𝒉𝒂𝒄𝒌𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒇𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒅 𝒎𝒊𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒆𝒍 𝒎𝒖𝒓𝒑𝒉𝒚 𝒘𝒉𝒐 𝒕𝒐𝒐𝒌 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒄𝒂𝒔𝒆, 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒊𝒏 72𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔, 𝒉𝒆 𝒉𝒂𝒅 𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒌𝒆𝒅 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒔𝒄𝒂𝒎𝒎𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒓𝒆𝒇𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒅 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒎𝒐𝒏𝒆𝒚. 𝑪𝒐𝒏𝒕𝒂𝒄𝒕 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒎 𝒐𝒏 𝒎𝒊𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒍𝒎𝒖𝒓𝒑𝒉𝒚@𝒓𝒆𝒑𝒂𝒊𝒓𝒎𝒂𝒏.𝒄𝒐𝒎.

  5. Be cautious of unsolicited phone calls, emails, or mail requesting personal financial information. Legitimate businesses will not ask for this information unsolicited.

    Do not click on links in emails or text messages from unknown senders. These may lead to phishing websites designed to steal your personal information.

    Keep your computer and mobile devices secure with strong passwords and up-to-date security software.

    Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks for financial transactions. These networks are often unsecured and can be easily hacked.

    Be wary of “too good to be true” investment opportunities or offers. Always do your own research and consult a financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

    Keep a close eye on your financial accounts, and report any suspicious activity immediately.

    Be careful who you share personal information with, and never provide sensitive information over the phone, email, or through a website unless you have initiated the contact and are certain of the identity of the person on the other end.

    Use two-factor authentication whenever possible to add an extra layer of security to your accounts.

    Be mindful of social engineering tactics, such as phishing and vishing, where scammers will use trickery and deception to gain access to your personal information.

    Lastly, always trust your instincts and if something seems off, it’s better to err on the side of caution and not engage with it.

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