The con artists who run multi-million-dollar Ponzi schemes are good at manipulating the good intentions of their clients. Some Ponzi schemes lure people in by claiming that it’s an “exclusive” offer or “invite only,” and the promoters of these scams often ask investors to keep the information under wraps. This tactic ends up serving two purposes for con artists, and both can be dangerously effective on unwary investors. As a Ponzi scheme lawyer, here are a few things I think investors should know about any investment that they are asked to keep secret.
Why Ponzi Scheme Promoters Might Ask You to Keep It Secret
First off, no legitimate financial advisor or broker will ever ask you to keep an investment opportunity a secret. Convincing you to keep it a secret essentially serves two purposes:
- It makes the offer seem more tempting. By making the investment seem like a once-in-a-lifetime investment offer, the fraudster has already piqued your interest and made you feel like part of an exclusive group. This often makes investors more receptive to a risky offer.
- It makes the Ponzi scheme harder to detect. By asking you to keep the scam a secret, the promoter has limited the chances that you’ll talk to someone who can spot something “fishy” about the scheme. The promoter may also use the “exclusive” or “secret” nature of the offer as an excuse for not providing written documentation or to deter further research into the investment offer or his/her own investment qualifications and history.
While keeping secrets is one way that con artists dupe investors, it’s far from the only tactic they use. To learn more about how Ponzi schemes lure in and defraud unwary investors, please see our article, “How Ponzi Schemes Keep Fooling Victims While Keeping Up Appearances.”
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