Sadly, there are lots of ways to part you from your money. Unfortunately, the criminals are getting ever more sophisticated and we are all accustomed to being so overwhelmed by choice, that we often skip the task of reading the detail or asking more questions.
The problem is that when it comes to your money, you can lose quite a lot of it very quickly. Crooks rely on several things.
The financial services sector is full of jargon. We also often have multiple names or terms for the same thing – for example stocks, equities and shares are all the same thing. As for Bonds – let’s not even go there
In a world of low interest rates, where your hard-earned cash is going backwards in value because of inflation. If prices rise 3% and you only get 1% interest, you are falling behind inflation and the £ in your bank account cannot buy as much as it did. So being offered something that looks and sounds like a decent return, (particularly if it’s on a nice-looking website or advert) well nobody would honestly say you are being greedy. You just want to make your money work harder. However, the adage if it sounds too good to be true…
You are fed up with jargon, bad interest rates and the news regularly reports that millions were wiped off the stock markets. Oddly they never report that millions were wiped on, at best the news may mention the FTSE100 is up by something every 15 minutes, which is utterly pointless. So something that offers “guarantees” or suggests that it has nothing to do with the stock market – perhaps investing in something that sounds green (and good) is likely to appeal to your sense of frustration.
Having a celebrity promote the “investment” or business opportunity is designed to give it some credibility. After all, celebrities are nice people aren’t they? They have reputations to uphold. Well the truth is that actors are paid to speak words, sports professionals invariably are paid to have words written on them. However nice they may be, they are paid for their promotional work.
How about those reviews from previous customers? Those star ratings? Or industry awards? If you have been around long enough, you will know that whilst these can be true, they are often partially true and sometimes not true at all. As a business owner I am regularly offered awards or encouraged to do something to get them, such as join a trade body that gives the impression of some credibility, when all it really means is that it’s a marketing club
You are a target, nothing more
Scammers prey on those that have money but don’t have the time or perhaps knowledge to think through what it being proposed. They target anyone.
The Good Liar
The new film “The Good Liar” starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen, showcases a scammer, a pretty good one. I may have some issues with the speed and ease at which things purport to be done (establishing a Trust, combining the wealth of two people, and an oversized calculator keypad to confirm live payments for sums less than £100m) but the mechanics of a scam are all there.
You can attempt to keep up with scams on the FCA website here: Alternatively, please get in touch, if you have any doubt about what you are being told, it is worth getting us to have a look at it. How much are your life savings worth to you after all?
As for the film, I quite enjoyed it. I may think that popcorn and a drink borders on being a bit of a scam, but the movie is entertaining and just short of 2 hours. Longer than a sports match and more informative. Here is the trailer.
You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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