This Investment Scheme Is No Myth

Fred_Joseph-FraudI love Greek and Roman mythology.  I enjoy reading about the various gods and their deeds (and misdeeds) as well as watching movies involving mythological creatures.  Even now, I enjoy watching Clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonauts.

One of my favorite characters is Hercules.  As we all know, Hercules was famous for his 12 Labors. According to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton, HerculesÕ second labor was to go to Lerna and kill a creature with nine heads called the Hydra which lived in a swamp there.  This was exceedingly hard to do, because one of the heads was immortal and the other heads almost as bad, inasmuch as when Hercules chopped off one, two others grew in its place.  However, he was helped by his nephew Iolaus who brought him a burning brand with which he seared the neck as he cut each head off so that it could not sprout again.  When all the heads had been chopped off, he disposed of the one that was immortal by burying it securely under a great rock.

It may sound strange, but this story reminds me of a type of investment scam called “reloading.”  Investment losses often create a panic, and con artists know this.  They have developed schemes to take a second bite out of investors.  To recoup their losses, victims sometimes invest in another scheme (a reload) in which the con artist promises to make good the original loss and may offer new and higher returns.  The result is only more losses.  Though the desire to make up lost financial ground is understandable, the result is most likely the loss of whatever savings the investor has left.

Reloading scams are not just limited to investments.  If an individual has lost money is some type of telemarketing scheme, they may receive a phone call from someone claiming to work for a government agency or consumer organization that could recover their money, product or prize Ð for a fee, of course.  According to Wikipedia, the catch is that the second caller is often as phony as the first and may even work for the company that took the money in the first place.  If the consumer pays the recovery fee, they have been double-scammed.  Fortunately, there is a way to tell whether the caller offering help is legitimate:  If they ask you to pay a fee or if they guarantee to get your money back, it is a fraud.

Remember the old saying: “Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.”


Fred Joseph can be contacted at fred.joseph@state.co.us or at 303-894-2320.

This Investment Scheme Is No Myth

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