Good reading around the web this weekend.
However many times you warn them about scams and tricksters, people don’t listen.
I’m not only talking about the likes of my mother, who is an old-fashioned sort who believes that if somebody has taken the time to knock on her front door or phone her up then she should speak to them – even if they’ve blatantly only come to check if she’s senile enough to be diddled out of her pension, or when they’re phoning from Nigeria.
Even less interested in scam stories, seemingly, are the likes of Consumer Direct, The Office of Fair Trading, the FSA, and the National Fraud Agency.
All these and more turned out to be completely uninterested when MSN Money journalist Neil Faulkner tried to shutdown a scam website promising guaranteed 100% gains over five years and 100% protection for your money (about as likely as me getting a gift-wrapped Keira Knightley for my birthday, and her having arranged the whole thing personally when she discovered my deep interest in nerdy financial matters).
The journalist discusses this official disinterest in my post of the week, from The Motley Fool:
You can’t go and say, look – I know that there could be people losing thousands here. There could be people losing millions altogether, so please can you investigate. They don’t do it. They only want to hear about it after you’ve lost the money. As you and I both know, when you lose money in these investment scams, you normally don’t get it back, so it doesn’t help anyone.
The complete interview, which recounts how a dozen scam-busting bodies and charities showed no interesting in busting a scam, is also available as a podcast.
It makes for enlightening – and depressing – reading. If these scammers were shoplifting or mugging grannies, they’d be nicked. On the Web, they rip-off their victims without a care.
It all proves again that only you can be responsible for your money:
- Delete anything that comes through email.
- Ignore junk mail and shred old documents.
- Hang up the phone at will.
- Go ex-directory where possible.
- Don’t buy any product or service you didn’t initiate the hunt for yourself.
When it comes to investing money, look out for FSA-registration and research widely. Most people should simply use common-as-muck tracker funds, anyway, so you’d better have a good reason to go off-piste.
Outlandish promises on a website do NOT qualify for ‘extremely good reason’ status. Trust me, I’d know if there was a safe way to get 100% gains over five years with no risk.
From the blogs
- Dealing with rising energy costs – Simple in Suffolk
- But UK inflation not as bad as it looks – Bond Vigilantes
- Charles Ellis’ 10 investing commandments – Investing Caffeine
- Winning the lottery brings misery – Darwin’s Finance
- Samuel Pepys: The original money blogger – A Grain of Salt
- How Warren Buffett invests – Investor Junkie
- Your money and your mindset – Swedroe/Moneywatch
- Forensic finance, Benson’s way – The Psy-Fi blog
- Caring for aging parents – Get Rich Slowly
- 9 ways to prepare for food inflation – Frugal Dad
On the mainstream sites
- Commodity prices threaten global recovery… – The Economist
- …and it’s getting hard to tell oil from wine – The Economist
- 4 signs of a frothy market – Motley Fool
- Facebook: Not a home run – Wall Street Journal
- Britain triggers global inflation alarm – FT
- NS&I index-link certificates to re-open in new financial year – FT
- Doing nothing for a year increased returns – FT
- Beware the infrastructure fund hype – FT
- UK retains £13.8bn worth of used ticket stubs – FT
- Barclays fined over ‘cautious’ fund [But really, caveat emptor] – FT
- US stocks up to 70% overvalued? – Merryn/FT
- Hmm: An expensive, trend-following ETF fund-of-funds – FT
- Free banking is an illusion – Telegraph
- Small caps are still beautiful – Independent
- What if interest rates take off? – The Guardian
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