Okay, there have been some people who have created a great product, platform or service and they have become insanely rich. But if we look closely, we will see that it was not a get-rich-quick scheme. That great idea took a few tries and a lot of mental and emotional work.
As we’ve discussed in previous blog posts, building your financial stability requires long-term vision, a strategy, commitment, and patience. You need to know your life goals, create a strategic plan for how you are going to get there, establish a budget, track your money, save, and avoid bad debt. (Yes, there is good debt.)
Or as someone once said, “Get-rich-quick schemes are for the lazy and unambitious. Respect your dreams enough to pay the full price for them.” Dr. Steve Maraboli
The lure of getting rich quick is a strong one. Unfortunately, those who would like to take your money know about this attraction. They are happy to fill your inbox or news feeds with all kinds of attractive schemes that promise quick money.
Social Media Get-Rich-Quick Scams
Scammers are active on social media because…that’s where we are. Consider this get-rich-quick scheme that was promoted on Instagram:
Fraudsters promote an investment scheme, promising a quick return on your money. You need to make an initial investment. They send you screenshots of “your account” which as you can see, is doing well. As a savvy investor, you want to sell while the price is good. However, to deduct from your “account” you need to send money to unlock it. After you send the money, the scammers stop communicating with you and the Instagram account is closed. British who fell into the trap lost roughly £9,000 each.
Young users are particularly vulnerable to these social media scams. Fraudsters flood their Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook feeds with ads that promise easy money. We’ve spoken previously about how social media can ruin your budget. Social media posts entice us to make purchases we can’t afford. We want to keep up with our digital friends. Teenagers are particularly vulnerable to this trend, and they may even search out “instant cash,” which opens the door to get-rich-quick scammers. They find thousands of opportunities to make quick cash that require nothing more than providing a credit card or bank account details. Many times, their bank accounts are used to launder money, which ultimately comes to the attention of the bank authorities. The account is closed, all the money is lost and now you have a criminal case to deal with. Teach your kids…there is no such thing as instant cash.
Using the Names of Influencers
Entrepreneur Richard Branson recently announced that scammers were using his name or impersonating him in emails and social media posts promoting get-rich-quick schemes. He said they tend to target people who have engaged in his social media feeds (yes fraudsters are following social media comment threads to find potential victims). You might innocently believe the recommendation is coming from Branson, and he’s a billionaire, so you fall for it. Protect yourself. Go to their official website, look for similar offers there. If you don’t see it, know that it is a scam and report it.
If you receive an invitation to become part of a special group attached to an influencer and by joining you are promised financial benefits or access to private cryptocurrency schemes, you can assume it is a fraud. As Branson said, he does not promote get-quick-rich schemes, nor do any others.
Ponzi Investment Schemes
This is a very dangerous get-rich-quick scheme that traps a lot of people. The owner of the scheme solicits investors. When you first invest, your return is quite healthy, and it appears that you have found a really great deal. Those high returns are coming from funds collected from newer investors. As long as the fraudster succeeds in continuing to attract new investors, the scheme succeeds. And if you only ask for dividends or interest income, and do not demand full repayment of your initial investment, the scheme hums along nicely. However, ultimately Ponzi schemes fall, and you lose all your money.
Online Lottery Get-Rich-Quick Scam
Everyone dreams of winning the lottery, right? For sure, if you are the winner it qualifies as a get-rich-scheme. But what are the odds? Today, you don’t have to buy a lottery ticket from the kiosk, scammers are happy to entice you to “invest your money” in online sweepstakes and lotteries. You don’t need to send cash you just send your credit card details or other information to claim your winnings. We know what happens…no money and they now have all your financial information.
Bottom line: Be wary of all get-rich-quick schemes.