What are the Most Common Scams?
The various schemes used by conmen to trick people out of their money change and evolve constantly, and billions of dollars are lost every year by victims who fall prey to these tricks.
These below are five of the tactics used by these conmen which have been recurrent in recent years.
Rare Metals Investment
Rare earth metals are a group of chemical elements used largely in the manufacture of consumer electronics. Scammers will target people and convince them to invest in rare earth metals through the use of high-pressure sales tactics.
However, manufacturers who make use of these materials typically buy in quantity from established distributors and would be very unlikely to purchase from small companies, which means someone cold-calling a potential investor for a legitimate purpose is highly unlikely.
Senior Mobility Scams
With the growth of the industry surrounding senior mobility and lifestyle improvements, there has also been an increase in the number of scams designed to take advantage of these necessities.
Every year, thousands of seniors in need of mobility assistance are taken advantage of by companies dealing in sub-quality mobility scooters and stairlifts.
Typically, a salesman will call or come door-to-door to aggressively and unrelentingly pressure the elderly person into purchasing one of these items, not letting up until the sale is closed. After this, the “customer” will most likely be delivered an inferior product, if they do receive anything at all.
In this scheme, individuals are approached by a “wine merchant” who is looking to sell wine en primeur – meaning that it is still in the barrel. The scammer tells his victim that wine still in the barrel will more greatly appreciate in value, thus making it important to buy in these bulk quantities.
However, the supposed wine does not exist, and the victim will be left several hundreds of dollars lighter.
This scheme involves a company which will divide a parcel of land into smaller plots. The company then tries to push these plots of land onto unwitting investors.
Unfortunately, these plots are typically on land which is not suited to development such as places of historic or scientific interest, or land on which development would prove impossible.
Countless millions of dollars have been lost by prospective investors to this scheme.
Carbon Credit Trading
A carbon credit is effectively a permit allotted to an industrial company which affords the right to emit one ton of carbon dioxide. These credits can also be traded from one company to another.
The scheme developed around this involves calling targeted investors and soliciting them to buy into this form of commodity trading as these industries typically need more carbon credits to offset their emissions.
While there are many reputable firms working in the carbon credit market, investors who have fallen for this scheme will find it nearly impossible to sell their small number of carbon credits for a competitive rate.
The techniques used by scammers grow and develop with every year, changing to better suit the landscape of the market and the demands of society. Like a legitimate salesman, the goal of the scammer is to always know what entices a potential victim.
By staying current on these techniques, you can avoid becoming a victim.