Affinity Fraud: How Fraudsters Get in Good with Targeted Groups
Once a Ponzi scheme starts to move through a group or a community, it almost seems to perpetuate itself with the buzz created from trusted members of a tight-knit community. But how do fraudsters manage to get in good with these groups to begin with? Here are a few ways con artists manage to wriggle their way into a community:
- By attending community meetings or events and networking with group members
- Through a website that promotes the investment
- Through social media sites (like Facebook and Twitter), email lists, or online forums to perpetuate online investment scams
- Through community leaders and senior group members, who may then pitch the investment product to the community on their own—or even invest with the organization’s money
- Through friends and relatives, who pass on the word about the completely “safe” high returns they seem to be getting back
Remember that Ponzi schemes require an illusion of legitimacy to operate, and many are easily uncovered if an investor first does a little research into what’s being offered. Even when you hear about a great investment opportunity from a friend, church leader, or family member, take the time to carefully check out everything you’ve been told.
If you or a family member has become the victim of a Ponzi scheme through a church or community group, aPonzi scheme lawyer with Meyer Wilson can help. Give us a call today or fill out the confidential online contact form on this page to learn more. When you call, don’t forget to also request your FREE copy of our helpful book Five Signs of Investment Fraud…And What to Do if it’s Happened to You.