There are a lot of scams out in the world at the moment. It could be an email from Amazon saying that your account has been locked. Phone calls from the government saying that you’re in trouble and owe them money. Or a text message from parcel delivery companies saying that your post is stuck somewhere.
Whatever the method, there are people who try to take advantage of others by whatever means possible.
Affinity Fraud is an investment scam that targets members of a group. These groups could be connected by their professions, religious beliefs, or ethnic communities. The fraudsters tend to gain the trust of the group by being, or pretending to be part of the group. They can also befriend the group leader, convincing them that the investment is a good idea and use them to convince others to get involved.
Generally, these scams take advantage of the bond that these groups have. The typical fraudsters try to target groups that have a tight-knit structure because it’s often that the authorities don’t get notified so no investigation ever happens. One of the reasons for this may be the fact that the group would rather try and resolve the problem themselves rather than getting someone from the outside to try and help. And if a respected leader of the group got intertwined with the scam, agreed, and persuaded others from the start to invest, there may be feelings of embarrassment and shame. So they would rather try and deal with it themselves.
Many of the affinity frauds involve “Ponzi” or “Pyramid” schemes where new investors' money is used to make payments to early investors and can result in the fraudsters stealing money for their personal use.
How to Avoid Affinity Fraud
All investments come with their own risk so before you put any money into them you should make sure that you do your research and ask questions. To avoid these scams you can;
Even if the person you are talking to seems trustworthy or is someone that you respect and value, it’s in your best interest to do your research. With the ease of getting information through the internet, you can easily ask an expert for their opinion to make sure you’re not buying into a scam.
Too Good To Be True
If someone is guaranteeing you returns or massive profits then this should set off alarm bells. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. All investments come with a risk and nothing can be certain about the returns you might get.
Get It In Writing
If your fraudsters are trying to get money off you without any type of paperwork, then this is a red flag. Most legitimate investments usually have written agreements.
There are a lot of people out in the world that try to take advantage and trick others into parting with their money. If it’s too good to be true then it may be fraudsters trying to trick you. If you think you have been part of an investment scam and lost money, there are a selection of reputable investor lawyers that may be able to help you.