Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Potpourri of Scams

I received an email today from a GI in Iraq. He asked for my assistance in moving five million dollars out of that country. I was born in 1950 and not yesterday. Beware of any emails asking for help in moving money out of a country. The most famous one is the Nigerian scam but there are variations. Sadly, people still fall prey to these scams and lose a lot of their hard earned savings.

Another scam coming from Iraq involves the currency. The old Iraqi Dinar had a value of over 2 bucks per Dinar. The new one is like 12 dinars for a penny and it is not convertible. That means in simple language do not fall for a story that says with your help I can buy $1000 of Dinars and ship them to you and they will be worth millions. It doesn’t work and if you have any relatives over there caution them about this. I actually was contacted by a fellow member of NAPFA who had a client that was asked to participate in this. We saved his money for him!

A client sent me an email they had received from the Internal Revenue Service with information about a refund. It looked real except that the IRS does not contact people via email out of the blue. If you ever get an email from the IRS send it to You will make some FBI agent happy, and that’s a good thing.

Recently yours truly received a letter from the Consumers’ Research Council of America advising me that I had been selected for inclusion in their 2008 Edition of “Guide to America’s Top Financial Planners.” Quite an honor and to celebrate and recognize this achievement I was offered the opportunity to purchase various displays for my office so that visitors would be aware of my accomplishment. A mere $169 - $229 is all that one would cost.

Modesty prevents me from stating that I am a top planner, and there is some obnoxious and wordy planner in Florida who thinks I need a remedial course in planning because I disagreed with the position that the Financial Planning Association espoused with regard to the recent stimulus payments. That leaves me probably somewhere above the middle and below the zenith.

That guide contained the name of nearly every CFP in the world, hardly relevant. It is like when I tell people that I was top ranked in tennis; ranked in the top 10 million. I was younger and quicker then; I suspect my ranking has since slipped.

The lessons to be learned is to be wary of emails that appeal to your greed, your need to help others and that ask you for personal information or will lead you to another site. The other lesson to be learned is to think very carefully about any list that some planner tells you that they are on. The odds are good that it is less than meaningful and may have required some sort of payment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My planner has one of those plaques on his bookshelf. I thought she was a blowhard and now I know! Thank you for the info