“Phantom Riches,” Real Fraud
A phantom lurks in every investment scam. Sometimes, it takes the form of a big payoff. Other times, it may be the security of “guaranteed” returns. Fraud experts call it “phantom riches,” and it is the most common tactic cons use to rip off investors. Fraudsters dangle before you the prospect of future wealth. But here’s the catch—the criminal can’t deliver on the promise of riches, because they do not exist.
Researchers funded by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation analyzed hundreds of hours of undercover audiotapes to determine the most common persuasion tactics fraudsters used to lure victims.
“The phantom’s purpose is to get you to stop thinking logically,” said Doug Shadel, the Washington state director of AARP and an expert in financial fraud who led the research team. “A key goal of persuasion is to move you out of the logical reasoning part of your mind into the emotional. It’s what con artists call putting you under the ether.”
The best way to avoid getting swept up in an offer of phantom riches is to slow down the pitch.
- First, ask questions. Ask if the seller is registered with FINRA, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or your state securities regulator. Ask if the investment is registered with the SEC or your state.
- Second, check the answers before investing. Don’t just take the seller’s word for it. Check the information you receive with the proper authorities.
Visit SaveAndInvest.org for more information on the red flags of fraud and to order a free documentary, Trick$ of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud.
SaveAndInvest.org is a project of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, in collaboration with AARP, the Arizona Corporation Commission, the Arizona Crime Prevention Association and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
June Calendar of Events
Drug Collection Event - Thursday June 7th, 2012 from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon simultaneously at the Via Linda and Granite Reef Senior Centers. Bring expired and/or unwanted over the counter and prescription drugs to the Senior Centers where police officers from the Scottsdale Police Department will collect and properly dispose of them. Please EMPTY pills into a plastic or Ziploc bag. This includes blister packs. Liquids and creams can remain in original packaging.
Call or e-mail Officer Jennifer Wattier at (480) 312-0275 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To view flier, click here.
Mighty Mud Mania - Saturday June 9th, 2012 from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm at Chaparral Park, 5401 N. Hayden RD. A Scottsdale original is getting better – adults can now tackle the obstacle course at Mighty Mud Mania. This year’s event runs 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at Chaparral Park, 5401 N Hayden Road.
The original mud course will be free in the morning for those 7-17 years old. From noon to 2 p.m. adults can run the course for $10. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Those under 18 must bring a signed permission slip or have a parent or guardian available at the event to sign one. Participants are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for donation to the Vista del Camino food bank. Those 6 and younger can enjoy the mini mud obstacle course, mud pits, water play area, sand castle building and “Mudville.” Nearby Chaparral Pool will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. for only a dollar for those wearing clean swimsuits. For more dirty details, call 480-312-2704, email email@example.com or visit www.ScottsdaleAZ.gov/MightyMudMania.
FREE Child Identification Card Clinic
Saturday June 23rd, 2012 - 9:00 am – 1:00 pm at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center 3555 S. Val Vista Dr. Gilbert, AZ 85297. For more information, click here.
From the Desk of
Commander Mike Rosenberger
Home Security 101 – Are you a Door Opener or Silencer?
While burglars do at times target and “scope out” a specific home, in most cases, they are simply looking for the easiest target. Let’s face it, burglars can be very lazy and would rather walk in through an open door than jump over fences, break windows or pick locks.
Most burglars are not only looking for easy access, but they are also searching for an unoccupied home. Their goal is to make their move without being seen and certainly without running into you!
What happens when you are home alone and there’s a late-night knock at the door?
Are you a Door Opener or a Silencer? A Door Opener is bold and confident and goes to open the door no matter who is there and whatever risks they may pose. A Silencer takes the extremely cautious approach and shuts down the TV, turns off the lights and remains perfectly quiet hoping the late-night visitor will just go away.
The correct response is a little bit of both! You don’t want to create the illusion that you are NOT home, because that can be inviting for burglars who are testing the waters by knocking on doors pretending to be someone they aren’t (e.g., solicitor, person looking for someone or other ploy). Once burglars find an unoccupied home, they make their move. So make it clear you ARE home and even if you are home alone, announce out loud in the house that you are “getting the door.” You’ve now told any potential burglar that the house is occupied and there is more than one person inside. Both are excellent deterrents to crime.
Next, view the person at the front door through your door’s peephole. If it’s someone you don’t recognize, talk to them THROUGH the door, without opening it (not even a crack!). Indicate to them that you would like them to leave their information on the doorstep and you’ll get it in the morning. If you are concerned about the late night or unusual visitor, call the police.
Commander Mike Rosenberger
Public Safety Community Contact Numbers
and E-mail Links
- Scottsdale Police Non-Emergency 480-312-5000
- Scottsdale Fire Department 480-312-8000
- SPD Drug Enforcement Hotline - Suspected illegal activity, 480-312-TIPS (Hot lines are not monitored)
- SPD Traffic Enforcement Hotline - chronic traffic problems, 480-312-CARS
- Code Enforcement 480-312-2546
- Child Safety Seat Installation 480-312-BABY
- CPR/First Aid Classes 480-312-1817
- Lockbox for Seniors Program 877-229-5042 Flyer
The Scottsdale Police Department
The Scottsdale Police Department has excellent job opportunities in the following fields: Police Officer, Police Aide, Communications, Detention Officers, Crime Lab, Records, and Crime Scene Specialists. Visit our website at www.scottsdalepd.com. .