“It Has To Be True” Syndrome

Recently I spoke with an associate who is working with an elderly woman on a real estate transaction. My contact knows the value of what we do at Advocacy and how we try to help everyone. Mostly, I feel a tremendous sense of accountability to seniors though. Most of the people I worked with early in my financial services career are today’s seniors. My generation is the baby boomers and I have witnessed both the good and the bad and the extremely changing course of history.

Back to the story though, this lady shared a bit of her present focus and it turns out she is seeking to get the proceeds from her real estate transaction so she can pay a large fee for a very large gift she has won (commonly referred to as the Jamaican Lottery Scam). So my associate tried to discuss the potential for loss in this matter with little success, in fact he told me she really dug in and almost came to tears during this discussion and she was determined to get this large sum of money she had won. In fact her attitude changed into one of disdain and anger on the matter. This is very common as financial victims suffer from the normalcy bias, confirmation bias and general irrationality. Its very hard to talk a person off the ledge of financial victimization as they become logically attached to the financial gain. Worst of all they become fully emotionally vested in the incredible windfall they have been blessed with. The reason our work is so important is the difficulty that comes with helping people help themselves. We all would rationally consider that many financial scams are obvious and thus only foolish people could possibly get caught in them. This is a vastly misguided assumption. Many, many, many very savvy and intellectual people get caught in the web of deceit. It is because of a pathway of psychological triggers that lead to the ultimate financial victimization.

This is sadly the case with this woman. She is intent on losing $10’s of thousands of dollars chasing several million. She has bought the story and even the hooks that should be fairly obvious to her. One of those hooks is how she is not supposed to tell anyone about her good fortune or she risks losing the prizes she has won. She has won a very prestigious contest and is unique exclusive, so of course she should tell no one else including her family. What this hook accomplishes is a logical lockup in her mind so she will maintain confidentiality. Hard to protect someone who is married to confidentiality. This also elicits her own integrity as of course she wants to honor a confidential agreement. There are other hooks that align with the psychological triggers and the members of the Advocacy Network are not only educated on these techniques but they are trained in how to not only recognize them but also on how to avoid them. We are almost at the $7M mark in savings created for our members. I would love nothing more than to add this woman’s savings to our efforts but sadly she is headed towards the cliff and is actively willing to voluntarily go off that cliff. I want this story to be a warning for all who read it. Don’t allow the “that would never happen to me” excuse stop you from protecting you and your loved ones properly. You are just like the rest of those around you who could very easily fall into the “it has to be true” syndrome. Once victimized the psychological damage grows exponentially and the losses pile up and in many cases the end result is tragic. My mission with with the Advocacy Network is help people avoid tragedy and massive financial losses.

Become a member today, really what are you waiting for?

Elderly Beware!

Here is an article that displays the emotional damage of financial victimization. It is basically an epidemic and as the baby boomer generation reaches the pinnacle of their retirement the risk of financial victimization will continue to grow exponentially.

Larry Johnson, For the Express-News Updated 3:53 pm, Friday, October 21, 2016:

I really need to talk about this … telephone scams perpetrated against older persons. First, because they are so prevalent and, second, because I almost became a victim myself.
I answered the phone and a young male voice said: “Hi grandpa. It’s me.” He didn’t say who “me” was. So I just answered, “Yes.” He went on to tell me he and a bunch of friends drove to Reno, Nevada, and got pulled over and arrested by police. “We didn’t do anything, honest, grandpa, but to get out of jail we need to pay a thousand dollars. So, if you could help us out of this jam, just this once, I’d really appreciate it. And please don’t call my mom or dad. They would kill me.” “OK,” I said, “and which one of my grandsons are you?” CLICK. The line went dead.
This is known as the grandparent scam. Law enforcement officers say it works because it plays upon the kindness and naiveté of older persons. Scammers will place a random call and if the person answering the call sounds like an older person, they will say something like: “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?” When the unsuspecting grandparent guesses the name of the grandchild the scammer most sounds like, they’re in. They have established an identity, and the scam proceeds. Once “in,” the fake grandchild will usually ask for money for some unexpected financial problem (overdue rent, payment for car repairs, etc.), to be paid via Western Union or Money Gram, which often don’t require identification to collect. The very fact that no research is needed makes this a scam that can be perpetrated over and over at very little cost to the scammer. In my case, the “grandson” who called me failed to trick me into guessing who he was, and lost.

The “repeated victimization of the elderly,” according to federal law enforcement, is the “cornerstone of illegal telemarketing.” AARP found that 56 percent of the names on “mooch lists” (what fraudulent telemarketers call their lists of most likely victims) were 50 or older. The FBI, state attorneys general and other law enforcement officials report numerous cases of older people losing their life savings to fraudulent telemarketers. There are approximately 140,000 telemarketing firms in the country, and up to 10 percent, or 14,000, may be fraudulent.
Unscrupulous telemarketers may say you are eligible to win a valuable prize, ask for a contribution to a phony charity or promise to get back money that you lost in an earlier telemarketing scam. Older Americans are a prime target.
Financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they’re considered “the crime of the 21st century.” They often go unreported and can be difficult to prosecute, so they’re considered a “low-risk” crime. They can, however, be devastating to many older adults. If you suspect you’ve been the victim of a scam, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to discuss it with someone you trust. You are not alone, and there are people who can help. Doing nothing could only make it worse. Keep handy the phone numbers and resources you can turn to, including the local police, your bank (if money has been taken from your accounts), and Adult Protective Services. And that’s how I see it.
Larry Johnson is a motivational speaker and author. You can contact him via email at larjo1@prodigy.net or visit his website at www.mexicobytouch.com

The best alternative to be proactively protected against all forms of financial victimization is to become a member of the Advocacy Network.

Why Are We So Prone To Financial Victimization?

There is a question for you, Why are we so prone to Financial Victimization. There are numerous reasons for this area of weakness as it applies to money. One of the major reasons is education, (the lack of financial literacy is directly related but that is truly by design) we are educated to be financially illiterate. Yes, this sounds like a conspiracy but it really is only an indoctrination into a fractionalized banking system. You must become aware of how the fractionalized banking system works, why it is our economic sanctuary and why every citizen must be kept in the dark as to this reality.

We do not have enough time to discuss the overall components and economic philosophy of the fractionalized banking system (members get full access to this information on a regular basis), but you must be aware that this system requires your participation in order to keep what amounts to a sophisticated Ponzi scheme ongoing. The money supply and velocity is predicated upon every American citizen playing their role which is to be in substantial enough debt to keep the scam moving along.

We all have credit cards and very few of us bother to be concerned with interest rates or fees, many have mutual funds and other investment vehicles and rarely bother to be concerned with fees, sure we get attracted by ROI which is formulated with some interest rate return. But the reality is the investment is always eroded through inflation and fees. The inflation is a fee charged by the government for the right to keep money flowing through the economy. Its long been a hidden taxation just as regulatory fees and penalties are form of stealth tax. (You and I as consumers always pay the regulatory fees and penalties, we also always pay the expense factors in any investment vehicles). These are simply the costs of doing business and yet there is rarely any discussion or education on these matters within a government sponsored and funded educational system.

Public education is touted as free, but its never free, because it is a format for indoctrination into the societal economic habits. Let’s be honest magnet schools and private education far outperform all levels of public education yet the politicians and government is always anti-private education. It has little to do with political ideology and everything to do with governmental indoctrination. The private education often covers such areas as financial literacy and teaches some of the history lessons of the fractionalized banking system (can’t have that, as if too many citizens understood how to truly use money and make money work for them the government would be out of business).

You need to be aware that the initial and most damaging financial victimization you suffer is the lack of education in financial literacy. If you asked 100 people in the street to define money you would be lucky to find 3 who could. If you asked those same 100 if there was any difference between currency and money once again you’d be lucky to find 1.5 who could answer that query.

The lack of awareness in economic realities plus the indoctrinated concepts of money are the basis for the vast majority of our financial decisions. Think about it, if you have poor information to start off with how could you make consistently smart decisions about money. Its also no shame to be unaware as there was never any institutional system built to create the necessary awareness. The psychological and cognitive pathways to knowledge come in 3 conditions:

  1. Unaware: We are not aware of that which we don’t know (We don’t know that we don’t know).
  2. Aware: We now know there is something we didn’t know (We know that we don’t know)
  3. Awareness: We now gain the knowledge of that which we didn’t know (We know what we didn’t know)

The educational system should be teaching children how to think as opposed to what to think, and now more then ever in our history the educational system is ramming down what to think with greater zealousness.

How do you escape this? Well, you need to become aware of the knowledge you previously have been unaware of and then you need to learn that knowledge and be willing to use it for your benefit. This is what will free you from the never ending cycle of financial victimization perpetrated by a lack of financial literacy. The Advocacy Network is the platform which provides the ongoing education and will fully protect you and your loved ones from all forms of financial victimization. This includes taxes, social security, medicare and other government based financial decisions. The major part of your daily financial decisions have nothing to do with government financial decisions, but together these areas combine to make up your entire financial lifetime.

The mistakes we make with money can become life and death issues, they can determine the life experience and life style we enjoy or despise, they will determine the outcome of a lifetime of work, business planning or investment strategy. Money may not be the most important aspect of life but it certainly determines what type of life we experience.

Become a member today and you will have the peace of mind that comes with making smart decisions about money in all financial concerns that make up your lifetime.

Financial professionals called on to help prevent financial fraud against senior citizens

The following is an article taken from the Morning Call which is a business periodical in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. This is simply more validation of the vast financial risk facing Americans today. The premise that somehow Financial professionals will protect you is unfortunately akin to having the fox patrol the hen-house. Many of the direct financial victimizations have been perpetrated by financial professionals. Asking them to be your protector would not only be short sighted it would be welcoming the oncoming surge of financial victimization. The only true methodology to protect you from financial victimization is to have a totally non-biased objective advocate watching over your financial well-being. That’s exactly what we provide at the Advocacy Network. Without question we are the only full service protection platform against all forms of financial victimization. No conflicts of interest, no ulterior motives and no biases at all. We only serve to protect YOUR best interest in all financial matters.

Here is the article:

Pennsylvania is one of 11 states trying out a new program to enlist financial professionals to help prevent senior citizens from being ripped off.

The state Department of Banking and Securities is teaching investment advisers and brokers to identify unusual or suspicious behavior or transactions by their clients that could be a sign they are being exploited by a scammer.

“With so many senior citizens calling Pennsylvania home, it is critical that our commonwealth’s financial services community understand the distinctive challenges facing their older clients as well as what they can do to prevent this form of abuse,” banking and securities Secretary Robin Wiessmann said in a statement.

The department is using the “Senior$afe” training program developed by the North American Securities Administrators Association and the Maine Council for Elder Abuse Prevention.

In addition to teaching financial professionals signs of possible fraud, the program explains how adult protective services works to protect senior citizens and how they can report suspicious behavior or account activity to help protect their clients

Pennsylvania is one of 11 states trying out a new program to enlist financial professionals to help prevent senior citizens from being ripped off.

The state Department of Banking and Securities is teaching investment advisers and brokers to identify unusual or suspicious behavior or transactions by their clients that could be a sign they are being exploited by a scammer.

“With so many senior citizens calling Pennsylvania home, it is critical that our commonwealth’s financial services community understand the distinctive challenges facing their older clients as well as what they can do to prevent this form of abuse,” banking and securities Secretary Robin Wiessmann said in a statement.

The department is using the “Senior$afe” training program developed by the North American Securities Administrators Association and the Maine Council for Elder Abuse Prevention.

In addition to teaching financial professionals signs of possible fraud, the program explains how adult protective services works to protect senior citizens and how they can report suspicious behavior or account activity to help protect their clients

Pennsylvania is one of 11 states trying out a new program to enlist financial professionals to help prevent senior citizens from being ripped off.

The state Department of Banking and Securities is teaching investment advisers and brokers to identify unusual or suspicious behavior or transactions by their clients that could be a sign they are being exploited by a scammer.

“With so many senior citizens calling Pennsylvania home, it is critical that our commonwealth’s financial services community understand the distinctive challenges facing their older clients as well as what they can do to prevent this form of abuse,” banking and securities Secretary Robin Wiessmann said in a statement.

The department is using the “Senior$afe” training program developed by the North American Securities Administrators Association and the Maine Council for Elder Abuse Prevention.

In addition to teaching financial professionals signs of possible fraud, the program explains how adult protective services works to protect senior citizens and how they can report suspicious behavior or account activity to help protect their clients

Earlier this month, state officials shared the advice with executives at Vanguard.

“Vanguard takes very seriously our obligation to safeguard our clients’ assets and are pleased to support the Senior$afe initiative. We look forward to augmenting our best practices to increase the safety and security of our clients,” William Matysik, head of global fraud prevention at Vanguard, said in a statement.

paul.muschick@mcall.com

 

The Storms of Life!

As I prepared for another hurricane here in Florida (I shouldn’t complain as it has been quiet for me since Charley and his 3 companions ran through my backyard in 2004) I felt the usual emotional and psychological pain that comes with the negative anticipation of the oncoming storm. You watch the paths intently ever hoping that there will be an easterly or westerly swing whichever is most favorable for your situation. Typically that makes for a very bitter-sweet request due to the fact that the swing that helps you puts others in the cross-hairs of the storm.

Financial victimization is a hurricane of sorts, its a financial storm that is bearing down on you and your loved ones. The only one who can truly dictate the pathway of this financial storm is YOU. However in order to dictate the direction of the oncoming financial disaster you need the right information at the right time for the right reason. A lifetime is filled with financial decisions, many of which are sadly taken for granted. I say this because each of us is prone to trust authority figures for the right answers at the right time. Yet this is a very thin tight-wire we walk upon when granting our trust to a 3rd party authority.

What we tend to do is allow the authority figure to go unquestioned as well as non-vetted. We hear the term vetting in the political world regularly but the concept of vetting is nothing other than executing proper due diligence. The Advocacy Network provides this key element for all our members. Of course we understand that you need authority figures and professionals to help guide and direct your financial decisions. But the essence of financial victimization exists in a sense of shortcuts. We often take professionals at there word without holding them accountable to our own identified personal standard. Take for instance the Sunday visit to a church where one would sit in on a Preacher’s message. During the message the preacher relies on creating credibility with Bible based verses and reinforcement. The preacher then directs your attention to the path they have pre-determined through their credibility. Now this can often times be a very good result yet there are situations of manipulation and misdirection predicated upon the credibility of authority the preacher created. Now, if you go home and research the Bible for the scriptures used as credibility you protect yourself from any manipulation or misdirection. Its the same with any financial decision, both the professional authority and the strategy being presented should be vetted (total due diligence). I am always amazed at how easily a scam, fraud or financial manipulation could have been uncovered before the storm damage was done. This sadly creates a very uneasy conclusion which is that in almost all cases of financial victimization the true perpetrator of the victimization is the victim themselves.

To date we have saved our members in excess of $6M and continue to help them all avoid all forms of financial victimization. The process is a combination of self learning, platformed education and personal relationship advocacy. Our process and systems will full inoculate and insulate you and your family against all forms of financial victimization and most importantly allow you to consistently make smart decisions about money without the fear of loss.

Don’t sit in front of the fire place and say give me fire and I will give you wood. It doesn’t work that way, in fact it is that very mindset that allows financial manipulators to position you for for victimization. Take control and mandate that no one will ever be able to victimize you financially. You can take this step by simply becoming a member of the Advocacy Network today and establishing your personal relationship with a Financial Concierge.

YOUR Best Interest Is OUR Only Concern!