Adviser to plead guilty to ‘cherry-picking’ investments in $1.3M scheme

This is an article from Financial Planning By
Tobias Salinger
Published
January 26 2017, 5:03pm EST

A former adviser has agreed to plead guilty to bilking at least 30 clients out of $1.3 million by sticking them with losing investments and keeping the winners for himself, according to the Department of Justice.

Michael J. Breton, former managing partner at now-defunct Strategic Capital Management, will spend up to three years in jail and provide full restitution to his victims, if a judge approves his plea deal. The criminal case is filed in district court in Massachusetts.
Breton, 52, agreed to plead guilty to securities fraud and to a permanent ban from the industry in separate deals with the SEC and federal prosecutors. He founded the former Boston-area firm in 1999 and ran his scheme from 2010 until last year, the SEC says.

“Motivated by greed, Mr. Breton used his clients’ trust against them,” Harold Shaw, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston field division, said in a statement.

Investigators from the SEC’s market abuse unit detected Breton’s fraud through data analysis, according to the regulator.

For years, Breton used “master” or “block-trading” accounts — which enable advisers to make purchases on behalf of groups of investors — to buy shares on the days companies reported earnings, according to prosecutors. Breton waited until after the companies released their quarterly results to assign the trades to portfolios he managed, investigators said.
ABUSE OF TRUST

“Investment advisory clients, by necessity, entrust their advisers with great discretion over their life savings,” Acting Massachusetts U.S. Attorney William Weinreb said in a statement. “As today’s charges demonstrate, when advisers abuse that trust — by stealing from their very own clients — they will be held criminally accountable.”

A lawyer for Breton did not respond to requests for comment.

A woman who answered the phone at Newburg & Co., an accounting firm in Waltham, Massachusetts, where Breton has listed himself as a partner in SEC public disclosures, said no one would be available to comment Thursday. Breton did not return a message left for him there.

Strategic Capital reported $23.5 million in assets under management in its last SEC Form ADV from March. As of Dec. 16, Breton is no longer registered with the SEC.

He is currently a CFP in good standing, however. The CFP Board is aware of Breton’s case, but it has a long-standing policy of commenting “only on CFP Board disciplinary matters that have resulted in public discipline,” a spokesman said in an email.

A representative for Fidelity Investments, which provided one of the master accounts investigators believe Breton used in his scheme, said the company doesn’t comment on individual clients.
Representatives for Charles Schwab, which offered the other master account cited by prosecutors, provided the following statement:

“Schwab prohibits the use of master accounts for preferential trading activity. We do have systems in place designed to detect preferential trade allocation practices in the master accounts of independent registered investment advisers. In this case, Schwab terminated its relationship with Mr. Breton and Strategic Capital Management due to concerns about trading activity.”

The company did not immediately provide the termination date.

POLLO LOCO

During the length of his fraud, Breton shuttled more than 200 unprofitable trades from his personal accounts into those of his clients, according to the SEC.

Breton bought thousands of shares in companies like cybersecurity firm Fortinet, Intel subsidiary Altera, cosmetic-store chain Ulta Beauty and fast-food chicken restaurant chain El Pollo Loco, SEC investigators said. The commission found that he allocated the trades hours or even minutes after the earnings reports.

“As alleged in our complaint, Breton assured clients that he would put their interests first but did just the opposite,” Joseph Sansone, co-chief of the SEC’s market abuse unit, said in a statement.

PLEA DEAL

Securities fraud carries up to 25 years in prison, five years of parole and a $5 million fine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The plea deal recommended by prosecutors would require Breton to forfeit all funds in a personal bank account and half the proceeds from the sale of his Hopkinton, Massachusetts, home. The full restitution amounts to $1,326,696.

Breton would also pay a fine under the arrangement, subject to sentencing guidelines, unless a judge rules him unable to do so.

Following a yet-to-be scheduled plea hearing, the judge is expected to set a date for a sentencing hearing.

I provide this as an outlier to those of you who have professional advisors. Its important to take personal accountability within your investment portfolios, as having a trusted advisor is always a positive yet it can go badly when you disregard the combination of advice and personal accountability. Your money is your responsibility so when choosing a professional advisor you need to complete reasonable due diligence and also make sure that you and the advisor have a strong relationship potential which treats one another as partners. The Advocacy Network seeks to do no harm with members and financial service professionals. We will however expose any of those professionals who step out of bounds in their professional and ethical duties. I can safely say that people like this advisor are the exception and the vast majority of CFP’s are highly ethical and professional. The only method to fully protect yourself though is to have a personal accountability and maintain full awareness of your investment portfolio. Always remember the financial advisory relationship is a partnership and not a dictatorship, it is after all YOUR money at risk.

YOUR Best Interest IS OUR ONLY Concern!

Scams and Frauds are Big Across the Globe!

Below is an article discussing financial victimization in Great Briton. There is similar reports from China, India, Russia, across South America, Norwegian and pretty much all of Europe. Even Africa is a hotbed of scam and fraud activity, its truly a global event.

Almost 6 million Britons have fallen prey to financial fraud and one in ten has had at least one online account hacked, it can be revealed.

According to new figures, there were more than 1 million incidents of financial fraud logged in the first six months of last year – an increase of 53% on the previous year.

And, while many people recognise that their passwords and PINs are either not strong enough or are vulnerable, two-thirds of Britons admit to sharing personal information online, helping fraudsters create an illicit profile.

Publishing details such as a date of birth, an anniversary and relationships online can all be used by criminals to create fake accounts.

“Fraud can have a devastating impact on victims – both financially and emotionally,” said Matt Sanders from Gocompare.com Money, which carried out the research.

“Financial fraud comes in many guises – from crooks using stolen credit cards to increasingly sophisticated digital scams.  Being aware of the different types of scams and knowing the warning signs to look out for, can also help people avoid falling victim.

“And, once people appreciate how easy it can be for criminals to piece together personal data gleaned from online profiles, such as those shared on social media, they tend to be more cautious about openly sharing their personal information,” he said.

5 simple steps to combat the fraudsters:

  • Protect your personal information and account numbers:
    Never provide debit or credit card numbers or PINs or other personal information in response to an unsolicited email, text, online or telephone request. Genuine organisations including banks and card providers never request information in this way.
    When you receive a new payment card, always sign the back. Never let your card or card details out of sight when making a transaction. Protect your personal information on social media using privacy settings, don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Access your online financial accounts by typing the web address into your browser. Shred documents containing personal or financial information you no longer need. Always PIN-protect smartphones and other mobile devices.
  • Protect your passwords and PINs, keep them strong and keep them secret:
    Choose strong PINs and passwords, with a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use obvious or easy to guess numbers (birthdates, anniversary, or consecutive, ascending or descending number sequences). Memorise your passwords and PINs – don’t write them down or disclose them to anyone else. Don’t use the same password and PIN for all your accounts and payment cards. And, don’t use the same passwords for social media sites and online banking.
  • Online safety measures:
    Regularly update your computer’s firewall or antivirus software. When shopping online, always look for secure transaction symbols. The web address should start ‘https’ and the page should display the secure payment ‘lock’ logo. If possible, always shop or bank online from your personal computer. Always log-off from a site once you’ve completed a transaction.
  • Regularly review financial statements:
    Check credit card and bank statements on a regular basis and look out for unusual or unauthorised transactions. Contact your provider immediately if you suspect fraud. Note when you should be receiving a new payment card. If it doesn’t arrive when you expect it, contact the card provider as soon as possible.
  • Be suspicious of unsolicited contact:
    Be wary of unsolicited calls, emails or texts claiming to be from companies or organisations connected with your finances, requesting personal details. Never reply to a suspicious email, click on links or ring a number within the message. Use a different phone line to ring out if you’ve received a suspected vishing call.

Most people will be aware of the more publicised forms of fraud, such as using lost or stolen cards, or card ID theft, or distraction thefts at ATMs.

Other newer forms include:

Phishing: Typically, phishing emails come from someone pretending to be a reputable company and usually ask you to enter your account details.  Alternatively, they might say you’ve won a competition and request you to send money in order to receive the prize.

Vishing: Fraudsters phone a victim using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which is where voice calls are made over the internet rather than using a landline. They then persuade the victim to give out personal information and account details, which they can use to falsely take money or make purchases.

SMiShing (SMS phishing): This is similar to the previous two types of fraud, except it’s carried out via text message. As with phishing and vishing, the fraudsters will impersonate a reputable company. The SMS will either ask you to open a link where you’ll need to enter your personal information or call a number to verify details.

All good information, yet with over $250B per year lost in the US to all forms of financial victimization is becoming a member for $9.95 really a hard decision? We can assure you and your family are never victims of financial abuses. We will also provide you and your family with exceptional financial literacy education.

YOUR Best Interest IS OUR Only Concern!

Senior Financial Empowerment Act

ENDICOTT (WBNG) — At the Broome West Senior Center in Endicott Friday, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced her proposed legislation called the Senior Financial Empowerment Act.

Sen. Gillibrand says the legislation would protect seniors from financial fraud.

“Senior fraud is a destructive and dangerous crime, in which scammers prey on vulnerable citizens, steal their personal information, and harm them financially with very few consequences,” Senator Gillibrand said in a statement. “Under the current system, when seniors report these crimes, the information often isn’t shared with the proper authorities, and scammers are able to continue committing these crimes against other seniors.”

According to Gillibrand’s office, an estimated tens of thousands of seniors in New York are victims of financial scams and abuse every year.

The Senator says the Senior Financial Empowerment Act would ensure that seniors and their caregivers have critical information regarding financial abuse, standardize and improve the way elder financial abuse is reported, establish a national hotline that would advise seniors on where and how to report fraud, and provide more resources to combat financial exploitation of older adults before it happens.

Executive Director of Action for Older Persons Casondra Hamilton says the local organization receives several calls from victims of financial fraud and abuse each year and that financial losses by some have totaled more than $30,000.

“I am grateful that Senator Gillibrand is working to proactively address this ongoing challenge,” Hamilton said.

While we at the Advocacy Network commend any efforts to stop financial victimization. The difficulty is these efforts have very little impact on the problem. Solutions require helping potential victims (sadly this pretty much everyone) not only be aware of the types of scams and frauds, but most importantly they need the education that focuses on personal financial behaviors and beliefs, the proper uses of due diligence and the ongoing need for continuing financial literacy education. 

This is exactly what the Advocacy Network provides our members, we also provide our members with hard truths and facts. We are not shy about what it takes to be fully inoculated and insulated against all forms of financial victimization and so we follow up, follow through and make sure our members are fully protected. 

YOUR Best Interest IS OUR Only Concern!

 

Under the Radar Scams for 2017

Staying up to date with all the ideations of scams and frauds is somewhat akin to taking that college level calculus class. In this article let’s look at some of the less recognized scams that cross your desk or in this case computer every day. We vetted and took this information from http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/current_top_10_scam_list.php

Keep these lists available. It is good to be aware and have the consistent information available so you can recognize the types of scams and frauds that are promulgated on a daily basis. Its truly epidemic and you can easily be victimized in seconds.

Click Bait scam:

This one takes many forms, but many people may recall seeing those using Robin Williams death or the Malaysian Airline plane that went missing. Other click bait schemes use celebrity images, fake news, and other sensational stories to get you to unknowingly download malware. **always scroll over any links as the address will show. For your best protection don’t click on any unknown or suspicious links.
Fake bills and invoices:

  • “Pro forma” invoicing: You get a bill that looks real, but either you never ordered the product or service, or they’re not really the company you bought it from.
  • Tech Support Scam: You get a call or a pop-up on your computer claiming to be from Microsoft (or Norton, or Apple) about a problem on your computer. They say if you give —– support service org access to your hard drive, they can fix it. Instead, they install malware on your computer and start stealing your personal information.

Medical Alert Scam:

This is a telemarketing scam that promises a ‘free’ medical alert system, that scam targeted seniors and caretakers. The robocalls claimed to be offering the medical alert devices and system free of charge because a family member or friend had already paid for it. In many cases, seniors were asked to provide their bank account or credit information to ‘verify’ their identity and, as a result, were charged the monthly $35 service fee. The system, of course, never arrived and the seniors were left with a charge they had trouble getting refunded. Easy rule of thumb – be wary of ‘free’ offers that require your personal information upfront and always verify with the supposed friend or family member that the caller says paid for the service.
Ebay / Auction Reseller Scam:

Scammers posing as buyers convice sellers into shipping goods prior to receiving payment. Usually the fake buyer claims it’s an ’emergency’ like a child’s birthday and asks the seller to ship the same day. The seller receives an email that appears as though it came from PayPal for the payment, but emails like that are easy for scammers to fake.
Arrest Warrant Scam:

Scammers create a fake Caller ID, which allows them to call you and appear to be calling from a local police, sheriff or other law enforcement agency. They say there is a warrant out for your arrest, but that you can pay a fine in order to avoid criminal charges. Of course, these scammers don’t take credit cards; only a Western Union Moneygram, other wire transfer or pre-paid debit card will do.
Invisible Home Improvements:

In addition to email, mail and phone, scammers now just show up at your door. Scammers posing as home improvement contractors come door-to-door sale and target seniors, those who live alone, and victims of weather-related disasters are common targets.
Casting Call Scam:

Scammers pose as agents or talent scouts looking for actors, singers, models, reality show contestants, etc., and use phony audition notices to fool aspiring performers into paying to try out for parts that don’t exist.
Foreign Currency Scam:

Investments in foreign currency can sound like a great idea, and scammers frequently use real current events and news stories to make their pitches even more appealing. They advertise an easy investment with high return and low risk when you purchase Iraqi Dinar, Vietnamese Dong or, most recently, the Egyptian Pound. The plan is that, when those governments revalue their currencies, increasing their worth against the dollar, you just sell and cash in. Unlike previous hoaxes, you may even take possession of real currency. The problem is that they will be very difficult to sell, and it’s extremely unlikely they will ever significantly increase in value.
Scam Text Messages:

It looks like a text alert from your bank, asking you to confirm information or ‘reactivate your debit card’ by following a link on your smart phone. But it is just a way to steal personal information.
Do Not Call List Scam:

The National Do Not Call Registry (U.S.) or the National Do Not Call List (Canada) offer consumers a free way to reduce telemarketing calls. Scammers call anyway, of course, and they’ve even found a way to scam consumers by pretending to be a government official calling to sign you up or confirming your previous participation on the Dot Not call list!
Affordable Care Act Scams:

Scammers love the Affordable Care Act (‘Obamacare’), using it as a way to fool Americans into sharing their personal information.
YOUR Best Interest IS OUR Only Concern!

We are Entering the Entrepreneur ERA!

Business confidence has recently climbed to its highest point in decades. Recent report declared that we are entering the best small business environment since the mid 1980’s. Now that’s exciting! Finally we may be starting to climb out of the massive hole that has been dug over the last 16 years or so. The most damaging impact on small business has been that of regulatory over reach. Make no mistake about it, regulatory hurdles have long been a hidden or shadow taxation to business and industry. Let’s make clear that there is a basic level of government regulation needed to protect the public and all US citizens, however when that regulatory reach stretches into the areas of attempting to create winners and losers in the free market it has grown well beyond its reasonable boundaries.

So now we enter into a space in the marketplace where the small business owner will be able to breathe and confidently expand. The access to capital appears to be unbundling which offers an important benchmark for business growth. The dangers that will always exist however will be the scams, frauds and predatory sales manipulations in the marketplace. Unfortunately nothing can or will change this very sad reality. History continues to show that extensive SEC and other regulatory agencies have been totally inept when it comes to solving the issue of scams and frauds. Of course they are always overseeing the marketplace but they cannot and will never have the unlimited resources needed to keep up with and police the incredibly profitable world of scams and frauds. So this responsibility rests upon the shoulders of the entrepreneurs who are willing and able to risk it all in the pursuit of success. Our work is focused on protecting these risk takers in the area’s of scams, frauds and predatory sales tactics. Our efforts save both time and money and further allow the opportunity to take on extreme risk with the confidence that one can overcome the unnecessary additional risk of being scammed, defrauded or simply financially manipulated.

One of the major opportunity paths I see this coming year is the open pathway to becoming a small business owner and expanding into a full sense of independence. This offers full autonomy over your time, a freedom of personal decision making with no external bias or manipulation. It further offers an independence in the financial growth and tax advantaged cash flow that further allows for both improved lifestyle and life experience. This type of independence comes with fear. Of course it can be both a blessing and a curse. The major consideration is the pre-planning that directs all the risks and mitigates those wherever possible. of course the statistical analysis of business failure is quite overwhelming and basically scares many people away from taking the chance and basically betting on themselves. Unfortunately our educational system does not support entrepreneurial development nor does it particularly value independence. The young generations are still being indoctrinated into the “get a job” and put your time in syndrome. There will always be employers and employees, neither can get along without the other. Yet the best position is the employer, it comes with innate risk and stress all of which allows for the opportunity to climb into the highest level of wealth and income.

So in the coming year our financial concierges will be helping our members through the process of  the “Retireless System.” Through this process we will not only be protecting you from scams, frauds and predatory sales tactics but we will also be providing you with a pure entrepreneurial strategy that will allow you to:

  1. Create Tax Free Income
  2. Develop Tax advantaged Cash Flow
  3. Establish protection for Future Purchasing power
  4. Create the full Benefits of Independence

Provide You with the blessing of vastly improved Life Style and Life Experience;

YOUR Best Interest IS OUR Only Concern!

 

Best Way to Become a Millionaire!

This year 2017 the Advocacy Network mission is to dramatically expand public awareness about financial victimization. To date we have successfully saved our members in excess of $6.5M. That is a minimal success though considering that over $250B+ is lost each year to all forms of financial victimization. There are many, many reasons that this mass financial epidemic continues to inflict grave financial damage to many people, especially baby boomers.

Today however I wanted to bring your attention to one sure-fire way to insulate yourself from financial victimization. The best way to avoid cons, scams, and frauds is to recognize how to increase your wealth by being totally independent. When you are able to create financial independence you cease to search for the magic silver bullet to millions of dollars. Its this very search that makes you fully exposed to the scammers, and fraudsters. Let’s explore a how to become a millionaire strategy.

First of all there is NO GET RICH quick system in a millionaire strategy. Identified millionaires are not people who made money overnight (we will disregard lottery winners as they are a tiny fraction of the millionaire population). Studies show that a vast majority (as high as 82%) of millionaires are business owners or self employed. There is a percentage who are in the government employment market or two income families, but the overwhelming majority are those who have developed entrepreneurial ventures. Never before in our history has there been so many entrepreneurial opportunities available. Owning a business and investing in yourself is the safest and most efficient strategy to becoming ultra wealthy.

The highly functional entrepreneur invests in themselves, they trust their own abilities, senses and work ethic to produce the wealth they seek for them and their family. This demographic is highly targeted for scams and frauds yet they are structurally insulated because they rarely are seeking to put their money in any other ventures but their own (sure occasionally there be a minority who seek to invest in the markets or possibly family and friends). The reason these entrepreneurs win with regularity is their awareness and full understanding of their own skills, talents and commitments. They don’t get sidetracked or buy into fairy tales, they know the exact ROI for every dollar they invest in themselves. Here’s a major wakeup siren, your best investment opportunity is YOU. Stop looking elsewhere and start betting on yourself. This is true and complete independence.

If you are presently employed and exchanging hours for dollars, no problem. You simply need to start investing in yourself slowly and begin building an independence strategic plan (We help our members with a strategy system titled “Retireless”) in which you can develop a short term and long term plan for total financial independence. This is possible for EVERY American, you don’t need to be rich, or have special skills, education or abilities, you don’t need to have good contacts. None of those excuses are necessary. You can start right where you stand today. Its simply a matter of planning your upcoming steps and directions. The pathway will be built by you and it will make itself abundantly clear as you take the necessary daily, weekly and monthly steps.

So if you want to be a millionaire, or simply seek to have financial independence on your own terms you can build an entrepreneurial strategy to climb the mountain of wealth and independence. The best part is you don’t need to do this alone, as a member of the Advocacy Network we can provide you with the complete strategic plan along with the training and development needed to execute the plan successfully. Give me a call to discuss how membership will not only protect you from financial victimization but also propel you to the financial independence that assures you never become a victim.

YOUR Best Interest IS OUR Only Concern!

 

Many Scams are Legal!

Investors are financially victimized with regularity. Unfortunately rarely do they recognize it. One of the great financial victimizations has long been the mutual fund. Its called fees and expenses, these two little words account for billions of dollars that go to the funds without any risk taking whatsoever. Even better then the house in Vegas these investment vehicles have long been draining money out of investors pockets with impunity.

Let’s take a look at how this happens. In a recent Forbes magazine article “The Real Cost of Owning a Mutual Fund” the author peeled the onion and came up with an incredible revelation. He determined the average cost of owning a mutual fund is 3.17% annually. At first glance the majority of the investing public neglect to fully understand what this means to their long term investing success. The magic of investing has long been the simple concept of compounding. Interest compounding upon itself helps to create exponential growth. But many people somehow come to the conclusion that compounding only works in one direction. The sad reality is compounding works in both the upward climb and the downward spiral.

All the studies on the financial markets have shown that the quest for Camelot is the pursuit of beating the market. picking stocks and outperforming the market is the age-old quest for magnificent wealth. Sadly the truth is 96% of all actively managed mutual funds (stock picking) do not beat the market. As such your losses are not simply weighed in poor performance but they are compounded by the fees you payout that never ever go to work for your best interest. Imagine fund managers telling you they serve your best interests via what is termed a fiduciary standard. Under this promise these investment professionals are supposed to treat your interests as their own. Do no harm, protect your investment capital, ensure that they never take on any conflict of interest, you get the idea. Yet they line their pockets with fees regardless of performance. even if they lose they win. Does this sound even remotely reasonable to you?

There is a service that may help calculate fees on your funds or the funds you may be interested in. Check out www.personalfund.com and use the cost calculator to get an idea of the hidden fees. Here is a small list of the fees that are mentioned in a prospectus (which is usually the size of a small dictionary, intentionally so no one ever has the patience or time to read it closely).

Asset management fees, 12b-1 fees/marketing fees, trading costs (including but not limited to brokerage commissions, spread costs, market impact costs), redemption fees, soft dollar costs, account fees, purchase fees, record-keeping fees, plan administration fees, yada, yada, yada.

Its a never ending pile of heaping ——. Add it all up and your investment capital has to earn approx. 4% return annually just to break even. Sounds like nothing but the truth is there are years the market has zero or negative returns. imagine the years when your investment capital suffers a negative return and losses an additional 4% that can and is NEVER recovered. You are being victimized, of course its fully within the law and no one is acting unlawfully but they are certainly scamming you. Always keep in mind that 96% of these funds never beat the market, never as in never ever. Yet each year they take their 4% or so in fees. Its death by a thousand cuts. How can you beat this victimization? That’s an education for members to enjoy.

YOUR Best Interest IS OUR Only Concern!

 

Some Additional MO’s (Method of Operation)

As the new year kicks off the creativity of scammers, fraudsters and sales predators will expand. These people take no time off, they have to stay ahead of the curve, which quite frankly is a very low barrier of entry. Because the organizations, institutions and agencies that are supposed to protect you are usually asleep at the wheel the scammers, fraudsters and sales predators have very little resistance. Sure the agencies and organizations provide some materials it is often old and very outdated. Another less transparent condition is that many of the presumed protection agencies are unfortunately part of the sales predators and thus they wouldn’t want to interrupt their own schemes and games initiated to separate you from your money.

So let’s look ahead, of course the IRS scams will soon be resonating as your telephone starts ringing. Here is the simple reality and very easy method of avoidance, the IRS will NEVER call you or ask for YOUR Bank info, they will not CALL you and threaten your with legal action. All correspondence from the IRS comes via snail mail and always identifies how you may communicate with them. If you are still concerned or have doubts simply call any local IRS center and confirm for yourself whether or not you have some tax issue. Keep your money and most importantly YOUR identity as these scammers and fraudsters are relentless.

Once of the scams that went international was romance or dating scams. Sadly these people preyed upon those who were looking for love in all the wrong places. Simply put never send money or provide personal information to a romantic predator on the web. It sounds ridiculous but the losses were in the 10’s of million with this simply con.

BINARY OPTIONS SCAMS

Investment scams are also up there in terms of financial losses. One, focused on binary options, has been a big scam in 2016.

Binary options involve predicting the movements of commodities, assets or index prices over a short period of time. This is the infamous algorithm based fraud. There is no magic silver bullet trading platform and when approached you need to understand it simply is a fairy tale. Yes these people will persuade and attract you with licenses, registrations and fancy web portals they have you sign into for their imagery of successful trading. You get a password and a trading platform that never loses, and they simply ask to continue wiring more and more money as your accounts grow, unfortunately when you actually try to get some of your money you find it doesn’t exist. They are long gone with all your money and you are left with a magical algorithm. The best way to avoid this is to realize that algorithm is sadly the code word for FRAUD.  PS This is a very HIGH pressure sales tactical scam. You will be pushed hard and these predators are merciless. Anytime you are being approached with very HIGH pressure you need to ring the bell and get out quickly. No HIGH pressure is EVER concerned with YOUR Best Interest!

We have noticed that payment demands have undergone a shift as well. Many lower level scams and frauds are asking for payment in Bitcoin, gift cards including prepaid cards and I-Tunes gift cards. They often will ask you for codes to cards etc.. This crosses over many of the “You’ve won a contest, lottery, Vacation or other type of gift” scams. Don’t get hoodwinked into these very attractive frauds.

If you want to enjoy the ease that comes with complete peace of mind, you should become a member of the Advocacy Network. Sure, you can go it alone and hope that you have all the right answers at  right time in the right situation, but it only takes one mistake to lose a lifetime of savings. It only takes one poor decision because you didn’t have all the facts and information that allows for making a smart decision about money. As a member we will provide you with the right information at right time all the time. Doesn’t that make sense?

YOUR Best Interest IS OUR Only Concern!

 

New Year Same Old Scams and Frauds

As we enter 2017, the landscape of frauds, scams and predatory sales tactics undergoes zero changes. The excitement of hope that comes with a new year is always a wonderful event, yet that does not erase the basic risk of financial victimization. The scammers, fraudsters and predators will be back at work and they will create new approaches and platforms to separate you from your money. This is what they do and it is their profession.

The reason that financial victimization is so prevalent is because as a society we are subject to our own personal financial biases. The beliefs you have engrained become habits and therefore values. These values tend to fall into a few basic behavior patterns which are studied by the professional scammers, fraudsters and sales predators. Masters of human behavior and the understanding of financial decision making processes. The mistake we tend to make is to overlook the professional impact this group of criminals make. Many people live in the “it can’t or won’t happen to me” syndrome. This is the very belief the scammers, fraudsters and sales predators rely upon. They exist because of this simple consideration.

If the public would acknowledge and recognize the exposure from this risk it would be exponentially more difficult for the perpetrators to do their damage. The combination of lacking simple oversight and overconfidence in your own financial savvy makes you a perfect mark for financial victimization. When you are overconfident (and this is a basic human behavior trait) your ability to perceive your circumstances in a totally objective manner is lost. You consistently over estimate your own financial abilities and thus make yourself a target to any professional financial manipulator. It becomes much easier to ride the coattails of your own egotistical self grandiosity than to force persuasion upon you. The professional scammer, fraudster and sales manipulator realizes it is a simple downhill ride to influence your own weaknesses and use them against you. Its not a difficult process and sadly it is all subject to your own actions. It’s similar to the actions of certain marshal arts where the opponent uses your own force against you and allows that force to be your biggest enemy. In essence you actually victimize yourself due to your own over confidence.

One of the major aspects of our work is to help our members learn about these psychological triggers and the personal behaviors that are most exposed. This awareness allows any individual to fully inoculate and insulate themselves against all forms of financial victimization. This process is not something individuals tend to do for themselves without any help. An advocate is one who can act as the objective, non-biased conscience to help others overcome their own personal weaknesses and exposures. It’s a very common aspect in basic human nature to be self-sufficient. Both men and women have distinct biases when if pertains to financial decisions. All too often people believe that the team of a husband and wife can counter-balance these biases and be their own best protection. Unfortunately when hope, belief and greed get in the equation there is no counter-balance and certainly no protection from highly skilled, experienced and professional scammers, fraudsters and sales predators. It’s no contest, you are tremendously overmatched in this scenario. At the Advocacy Network we spend every minute of everyday working to overcome all forms of scams, fraud and predatory sales practitioners. Can you honestly say you are better prepared then we are? Is it safe to say you don’t have the time, experience or energy to consistently explore the world of financial victimization? Lastly and most importantly, have you ever felt the pain, anger, shame and guilt of being financially victimized?

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, it is better to light a candle then curse the darkness, and far better to have professional help against professional financial manipulators.

YOUR Best Interest IS OUR Only Concern!