Affinity Fraud: It happens where you’d least expect it. Right in your own community, with people you know and trust like religious institutions, colleagues or other association connections and even friends and, sometimes, family. The fraudsters’ business is lying to people to gain their trust and steal their money. They look for opportunity among people who expect the best of each other because of common language, faith, interests, neighbourhood, or other bond of trust. They may even pay the influencer to help them out, never telling the person that the investment is really a scam.
How to spot the scam: Promises of high returns with little or no risk (there are no exceptions to the rule that higher returns mean higher risk). Someone (often someone new) in your group starts talking about how to build wealth through special investments only they know about. The person is ‘just like you’- whether through ethnicity, religion, occupation, interests, or other common bond-and uses that connection to foster your trust. Sometimes signs of conspicuous wealth can tip you off. And, any suggestion that you should keep the investment a secret is a sure give-away.