Financial scams and frauds are not new, yet lots of people are continuously fooled by it. The words, fake credentials, and fake promises by the scammers and criminals are still attractive to many which entice them to whatever investments and sales being offered.
These financial scams even date back to hundreds of years ago. Let’s take a trip down the memory lane.
Roman Empire For Sale
The most ancient financial fraud perhaps was the one which happened in 193 A.D. during the Roman Empire unrest. A special guard loyal to the emperor (Known as the Praetorian) took the life of the then ruler. After the deed, he offered the whole empire to the highest bidder, Julianus, in exchange of 250 gold pieces for each member of the special army. That was equivalent to a whopping $1 billion if it happened today.
However, Julianus was never recognized as the new emperor. He ordered the execution of the guards who scammed him.
Eiffel Tower For Sale
A Hungarian immigrant by the name Victor Lustig made himself notorious by trying to sell the Eiffel Tower…twice! When the Eiffel Tower was in a bad shape around 1925, Lustig found a way to monetize this situation. Posing as a government official, he met with several scrap dealers and explained that the Eiffel Tower would be completely torn down in secret. Lustig staged a bidding and sold the Tower scraps to the highest bidder. That was a huge amount of money considering it’s the Eiffel Tower, and the bidder only found out that everything was just a scam when he went to the Government to claim his new scraps.
The Ponzi Scheme
Charles Ponzi started what would be the most notorious scam in the world. He started this fraud small, by the way, through the help of the postage stamps. His scheme looked like this: A person receiving a letter abroad would also receive an International Postal Reply coupon (IRC) to redeem and avail of a reply. Ponzi thought of buying IRCs in a country and trading them somewhere where its values were higher. He lured investors into this idea yet it never came into fruition. Ponzi only used the money from new investors and disguised it as the 50% return he promised to the old ones. It was reported that he got $7 million out of this scam when he was arrested and convicted in 1920.
Modern Financial Scams
The real-life financial scams mentioned above targeted wealthy investors and rich men. Small-time frauds still happen nowadays. The criminal minds have evolved, knowing that the rich people are ever so conscious of their financial transactions and dealings. Now they are targeting those who are living paycheck to paycheck because they are the ones easily fooled by get-rich-quick schemes.
These are the most common kind of financial scams that you should be wary of these days:
- Counterfeit money
- Fake cheques
- Sweepstakes Frauds
- Stealing of Passcodes through Fake ATM Numpads
- Government / Bank Agent Scams
- Emergency / Kidnapping Scams
Financial scams have already been recorded since the start of civilization. A criminal mind is ever-changing in the modern world too. Getting educated about the possible ways these scammers can lure to their schemes would be the best step to protect your hard-earned money.