Defeating the Con Artists: Top 5 Paths to Avoid Scams

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In the very latest in gold scam news, a man named Tom Arnold is presently waiting sentencing for a gold sting. He made almost $3 million in commissions selling these presumably rare coins. This document shows how to avoid cons and crimes and keep your cash protected. Check out Ponzi Scheme claims video.

Tom Arnold was a smooth talker. In 6 years he made $3 million in commissions selling apparently rare and gold coins. Arnold worked for a company called All American Coins, cold-calling potential speculators and roping them in on the phone.

Arnold, who is waiting for sentencing on crime charges, told former investigator Doug Shadel, “What you have got to do is keep informing them that the coins went up whatever what's going on in the world.

“Whether oil is doing good or oil is doing bad — anything that is happening with the economy — if there's a new president, the coins went up. If it was snowing, the coins went up.”

Shadel, who's now the Washington state director for AARP (previously the American Association of Retired Folks), interviewed Arnold and other con men for a new book called “Outsmarting the Scam Artists. How to Protect Yourself from the Most Clever Cons.” Each con man has identical basic technique, Shadel told ABC News. “Their aim is to get you into a heightened emotional state.” Shadel claims the conmen call it “the ether,” a reference to the breathed pain-killer sometimes used to knock out patients before the surgery. When confidence men get you into the “ether,” the rational mind goes out of the window and the emotional mind takes over.

“If anyone spent five seconds thinking logically about any one of these offers, they would never do it,” he announced.

Hence Shadel warns, if someone is making an attempt to pitch you on a deal, and your “heart is palpitating, you have sweat on your palms, you can't think of anything apart from this offer,” you're in the “ether” and you need to slow down. “I think the number 1 piece of advice,” he is saying, “is never decide to get something at the time you hear a sales pitch. There is no deal out there that can’t wait 24 hours.” Shadel says that allows you time to get out from under the “ether” and do required groundwork.

Arnold and his fellow salespeople were gurus at the job. All American pulled in $40 million in eight years, deceiving more than 1,500 victims in all 50 states. Many of those victims were elderly and thought they were buying coins that would increase in value and help support them in their retirement.

One such victim was 82-year-old Walt Sheppard. Sheppard was a retired tiny businessman in North Carolina. Over a bunch of years, Arnold sweet-talked him into spending his lifetime savings, and even borrowing money, to buy the coins. Sheppard and others did receive the coins they paid for, but they were worth a pittance, nothing close to the promised worth.

Sheppard told ABC Stories the loss of his money, about $150,000, has been devastating. He estimates the value of the coins he was given at around $15,000.

“I am just on the edge of insolvency all of the time,” he said. “I haven’t managed to pay my taxes, the medical bills, my credit is truly horrible bad, and I used to have next to the best credit.”

In his interview with Shadel for the book, Arnold said as fast as the credulous stockholders bought and received their first coins, All American would call back with the good news that the coins had already gone up in value. The values were made up, but backers were reeled in time and time again. That's what's happened to Sheppard: “They were naturally they were terribly creditable I promise you I should have had sense enough not to do it. I should have known better.”

Shadel details different sorts of cons in his new book, including oil and gas schemes, foreign lotteries, spiritual Ponzi schemes, and movie investment bargains.

Last year, an AARP Foundation study inspected the cases of 723 crime victims. According to Shadel, “The average investment crime victim was 64 years old , more likely to be male, have higher revenue and to have higher degrees of education than the general public.”

The old are usually victims of shysters, and they can frequently least afford the loss. As Walt Sheppard related, “I have no idea of anybody, or any group who could be hurt more than the older people who are perhaps hoping to get a little boost out of it. The thing I think about is this — at 80 years old you don't have a technique to come back.”

So when that persuasive-sounding sales person calls you with the deal of a whole life, what can you do to. Avoid being swindled?

Shadel has five key suggestions.

First, as noted earlier, don't make financial choices “under the either.”

2nd, learn how to spot convincing tactics. Some of those employed by con artists include promises that this deal will make you rich, and assurances that what you are about to buy is so scarce you have to purchase it up immediately. Shadel asserts another common tactic is to promise there is a well off investor waiting in the wings to snap up your purchases at a huge mark-up. Don't believe it, he is saying.

Next, Shadel recommends, “Develop a refusal script.” He is saying many potential speculators have difficulty hanging up because they don't want to be rude to the sales representative on the other end of the phone. Commit to memory and practice an easy line to allow you to hang up swiftly. One of his suggestions: “I’m sorry. This is not a very good time. Thanks for calling.” Then ensure you put down the telephone before the salesperson can get another word in.

Fourth, before you buy, check to see if the company is registered with the state or Fed governments. Are they licensed by the Monetary Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or state regulators?

Finally, beware if you're under financial stress at home or on the job. You are likely to leap at the opportunity to make a few bucks.

We have all heard, “If it sounds too fantastic to be true, it is.” But even those who know that adage by heart have been taken in. As Shadel found out, “Everyone thinks they're too smart to fall for a scam, but it is not about intelligence.” When you are “in the ether,” and excessively pumped up about the chance to make money, a fast-talking salesman can make offers that are “too good to be true” sound like sure gambles.

The article above is all about ponzi schemes and finra arbitration . The author is Alessandro Brackins.

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