10 Days of Advocacy

How many calls a day do you receive? With the advent of the no call list you probably don’t receive many calls at all, but if you are strictly on a cell phone I bet you get bombarded. Or if you own a business there is still a tsunami of cold callers. The telephone is one of the greatest tools fraudsters, scammers and predatory sales people possess. Your greatest risk isn’t the automated calls, its the live calls.

In a world of instant gratification our accepted blessings of technology are also the curse that provides grave financial risk. Today let’s discuss just one telephone fraud that nets billions of dollars annually. Its called the Jamaican lottery scam. This is one of the earliest types of scams so its been around a very long time and yet it still is being run on unsuspecting people every day. Your exposure begins with the email or direct mail. When you provide contact information you are often providing future scammers your contact info.

The marketing world is filled with list development, all sales organizations compile lists to work with. The list I’m discussing is often called “suckers lists” these are people who have self-identified as easy marks. They have done this through no recognized effort. You see the lists are compiled by scammers who sell these lists to other scammers. The way the lists are compiled are through very innocent marketing pitches. You see the more readily you are willing to provide your personal information the more likely you are to be manipulated by a con game. Thus the lists are compiled and then used for boiler room operations (telemarketing).

The boiler rooms in the Jamaican lottery scam are off-shore, mostly in Jamaica. They buy lists and then go to work on the phone and internet. You end up receiving an email that describes what a big winner you are. Some of these organizations strictly work the phones and start off with a very friendly and enthusiastic call telling you how much in cash and prizes you have won. (Don’t laugh, you would be shocked to know how many people get victimized in this fashion). The first psychological trigger that goes off is the tiny thought that you might just have really won this money, you might have finally had a bit of luck. So they ask you for a small fee to take care of whatever they pitch as needed to confirm and transfer the funds to you. The early stage is probably a due diligence fee in order to validate your winnings. This early stage is $500-1000.

I have personally handled more then 6 victims of this scam in 2016. One of these victims was taken for more then $400K. its a fairly simple psychological dilemma. When you receive the call you are filled with hope and then the hope wanes a bit and you have a brief moment of clarity and logic, but the person on the other end of the line is very good at what they do and fully understand the psychological triggers involved and how to easily manipulate them. Before you can run away they get you back on the hook and then they pressure you into that first payment. In this type of scam you are unfortunately toast once you make the first payment. You now have “gold fever” and you will chase the money, its simple human nature. You have moved into the greed level, you don’t simply desire that money, you have taken ownership of it. You don’t want to think or believe you have made a mistake so you continue to chase the money and the scammers know you will.

Kindly remember that our minds work in fairly consistent manners and one of those is the gamblers basic problem. The gamblers problem is they always believe the next card, roll, spin or pull of the lever is their winning event. Many times winning isn’t enough because if it were the person would simply take their winnings and move on but only a very small minority of people ever do this. Most stay until they lose it all back plus more. Its the same vicious cycle in the lottery scam, the more money you provide in fees the closer you are to the delivery of your winnings and the double edge is that the more money you put into the scam the more you feel obligated to chase.

The solution? Only buy the eggs! Remember the golden goose from day 1? Well this is another version of the goose and eggs. The Jamaican lottery represents the goose, only in this case there is nothing whatsoever behind the goose, its a hollow goose. How can you win a lottery you never participated in? Its impossible, there are no random lotteries anywhere on the earth. Its doesn’t exist, its all a fairy tale. even if there were a random lottery and you were somehow pulled out of a hat why would there be any cost involved to receive the funds? Couldn’t any fees simply be withdrawn or withheld from the winnings? I realize this sounds silly and of course you believe you would never get caught in something like this, but I’m here to tell you I have worked with intelligent, savvy, sophisticated people who have lost huge sums to this very fraud. Of course they feel the shame and guilt that comes with learning they were victimized. It can happen to ANYBODY! And it does multiple times daily in every city, hamlet, county and small village in America.

Lastly, I need to close with sad story (unfortunately most end this way). I was recently asked to speak with an associates client who was obviously in the middle of one of these scams. The lady wouldn’t discuss the situation because she was adamant about being told she should discuss it with no one or she would risk losing her winnings. At that point she was receiving $15K or so from a transaction with my associate. I recommended he provide her with some very transparent information on how this scam works, what type of language is used, the types of spins used to overcome any objections and some additional key information such as the progressive fee structures involved in these common scams. Because she was getting ready to pay out at least $15K I could safely assume she was at the 3rd stage in the scam and probably already was out at least $5K. Sadly, she could not be swayed and will ultimately lose her total financial holdings.

3. Only Buy the Eggs

2. Guard YOUR Privacy

1  NEVER Buy the GOOSE

YOUR Best Interest IS OUR Only Concern!