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Don’t Fall For These Money Scams – Diversifying with Delyanne Barros – Podcast on CNN Audio



Have you, Vivian, ever been a sufferer of a cash rip-off?

I’m lucky that I have never, however I do know individuals who have been.

Yeah, identical. I feel I’ve come shut as a result of they’re getting sneakier and sneakier. I’d get some scary voicemails, proper? Like…

It could be a scary voicemail or an e mail or a textual content.

This is the IRS like… Yeah. No, it is not. No, it is not.

Yeah! I’m like, Oh, my God. The IRS has my cellphone quantity? I’m like, What’s occurring? That’s Vivian Tu, the CEO and founding father of Your Rich BFF Media. She is aware of rather a lot concerning the finance world and he or she was proper about that scary voicemail. The actual IRS undoubtedly wasn’t calling me. It was a cellphone rip-off. And it is simply considered one of some ways individuals lose hundreds of thousands yearly. These scams have grow to be so refined that anybody can fall prey to them. So do not feel dangerous if it is occurred to you. Today, Vivian’s going to assist me break down among the extra widespread cash traps – from copycat profiles on social media to pyramid schemes. And after all, she’ll inform us methods to spot them so you possibly can keep protected and hold your cash the place it belongs, in your pocket. I’m Delyanne Barros, that is Diversifying.

I speak about saving, budgeting, investing, and spending your cash correctly amongst different private finance ideas and tidbits.

Vivian used to work on Wall Street. And nowadays, she’s sharing her monetary knowledge on social media. Like me, she makes use of her platform to assist her viewers navigate the tough private finance selections now we have to make daily. She additionally debunks among the sketchy ideas and methods that get handed round social media. So I needed to ask her, How does she go from being a Wall Street baddie to a private finance phenomenon?

When I left Wall Street, I pivoted into tech. And after I obtained there, all of my new colleagues had been like, You got here from Wall Street? Can you rebalance my 401k? Can I see which medical health insurance plan you picked? What are you investing in? What ought to I be spending my cash on? And I very actually began my TikTok as a joke for my coworkers, pondering that we had been simply going to have this little inside enjoyable factor between us. And I made my very first video speaking about how I had seen some sketchy recommendation going round. I informed my viewers, Hey, I haven’t got any get wealthy fast schemes right here, however should you really need to study cash and finance, I can assist. And the channel has blown up since.

That is why I’m so glad you are right here at present, as a result of we’re going to sort out a few of these cash scams or as I wish to name them, traps, and the way our listeners can shield themselves. So to get began, give me your tackle what you consider once you hear the phrase cash rip-off.

So this is sort of a very area of interest expertise, however I really feel like everyone has this. When you get a message from a lady that you just knew from highschool who instantly begins the message being like, Hey, girlie, it has been some time, however do you need to make a bunch of cash working from dwelling and be your personal woman boss? And I’m like, Oh no. Like, this particular person’s about to attempt to promote me skinny tea or some model of make-up that I’ve by no means heard of, or a hair product that is in all probability going to make my hair fall out. But that is my preliminary response is simply big cash rip-off being that potential MLM fashion pyramid scheme.

Yeah, I feel that we have all seen, , Tinder Swindler and all of these films and , we have heard the podcasts and we have heard these loopy schemes which are on the market the place we’re like, How did that particular person get scammed? That would by no means occur to me. But I feel that the scams that we will be speaking about at present and those which are on the market, they’re really taking some huge cash away from persons are very sneaky and so they form of infiltrate the monetary area in a method that it nearly blends in. So it nearly sounds professional.

There is all the time a thread of reality, however then I feel individuals take it one step additional, promising one thing that feels simply barely too good to be true.

The sum of money that folks lose annually is unfortunately large. Over $2 billion was reported as stolen final 12 months from imposter scams. That’s greater than the GDP of some international locations. And should you’re pondering that is only a downside for the older of us, let me inform you, it is affecting everybody. In reality, the FBI discovered that web crime victims of their 20s misplaced near $3,000 on common. And this was simply over the course of 1 12 months. For individuals of their 30s and 40s, they misplaced much more. I’m speaking between 5 to $8000. Ouch.

Whether that be anyone reaching out to you in your DMS, pretending to be you or me and saying, like, I can assure you 15% returns, or it is basically all the time considerably within the realm of actuality, however all the time on the higher facet of it. And then the phrases that they love to make use of are assure, guarantee. Words that basically are promissory and, , actual monetary educators like your self and myself, like, we might simply by no means say that.

Yeah. And I feel that that was one of many scams that I needed to speak about, as a result of I do know you and I’ve skilled this, is having individuals replicate our accounts, utterly obtain our total profile, proper, have our profile image there after which instantly begin DMing all of our followers. So pretending to be us. And sadly, the social media platforms do not do a lot to assist us as a result of I’ve reported a number of these and they do not get taken down. I get messages saying, Oh, they don’t seem to be violating neighborhood tips. I’m like, How? How is that this not a violation of neighborhood tips?

It’s so scary as a result of they get so good at this. They replicate the precise photograph, they even obtain all your video so it seems to be like an an identical profile. And they’re going to even purchase followers so it seems to be like the actual factor. And then after they DM somebody they’re like, Hey, I need to make 200% on this crypto coin that may be very clearly about to be a rug pull. And it’s so scary as a result of when your model or my model, our manufacturers are our faces, individuals will affiliate that with us when it’s extremely clearly a scammer.

Yeah, I feel, , should you guys aren’t conscious everytime you see all of these messages, proper, on our personal profiles the place they’re like, Oh, contact me on WhatsApp and the font seems to be all loopy and it is like 20 variations of the identical remark. I guarantee you that’s not me. That is just not Vivian doing these. Like, these are bots. So if it seems to be suspicious, like, belief your intestine, . Also, scammers are going to capitalize in your confusion. The different factor that they use is urgency. Like, Hey, that is going away. This is like, this must be taken care of, like, proper now, proper? Like this can be a one time alternative. Gonna to finish quickly.

It’s like the identical factor that they used to do to grandparents. They would name them and say, Your grandchild is in jail. You have to wire us X sum of money or they don’t seem to be going to be launched. And the loving, doting grandparents wire $1,000 away only for their grandchild to be comfortably sitting at dwelling.

Right. Or really, the brand new model now’s, Oh, your account has been hacked and if you would like entry to it, you must ship us X sum of money or we’re gonna take it down, proper?

Like there is a phrase for that. That’s extortion.

Yup. And after all, worry such as you had been mentioning. So threatening issues like court docket motion or felony fees. That’s the scariest model. And that occurred to me after I was undocumented. And I obtained this cellphone name saying that my Social Security had been compromised and that I had a court docket date. And I’m telling you, the panic that came visiting me and anyone needed to like discuss me down as a result of I believed for certain that I used to be going to get deported by way of my cellphone. I believed they had been simply going to, like, suck me into this portal and like, , take me. But once more, I feel the most effective factor to do in that second is to take a breath and do not do something. Don’t react. Go discuss to anyone. Go do a intestine examine with anyone else and perform a little research earlier than you ship anyone your private data, cash, something.

Yeah, particularly in the event that they’re claiming to be a service that you have traditionally accessed. There are issues that you are able to do to guard your self, whether or not that be verifying, , your service supplier. Is it like really your insurance coverage firm or is it some scammer? Is it your bank card firm? Is it your financial institution? Just just remember to are accessing them by way of a channel that is professional.

I’ve been getting much more textual content messages from scammers. Have you?

I imply, it is an it is actually I’ve seen an enormous uptick and will probably be like, Oh, that is Citibank. And I’m like, I haven’t got an account at Citibank. So instantly, instantly no.

Yeah. And the scariest factor is after they have the little hyperlinks within the textual content and , as quickly as you click on that hyperlink, they one way or the other have all of your data. So simply should you get a textual content from anyone that you do not acknowledge from a quantity you do not know that you have not ever seen come by way of earlier than. Just double assume. Take an additional second earlier than you click on.

Alright. Well, let’s speak about enterprise fashions that corporations use to rip-off individuals out of their cash. One of the most typical ones we have all heard about them pyramid schemes, which are sometimes confused for multi-level advertising and marketing or MLMs. Can you clarify just a little bit extra about what they’re and what is the distinction between a pyramid scheme and an MLM?

So basically multilevel advertising and marketing has been round for a really very long time. This is oftentimes advertising and marketing by way of your social networks, your communities. You can take into consideration these as these dwelling cooking classes the place individuals would watch you prepare dinner, your neighbors would come to your own home, you’d prepare dinner a meal, showcase all of the cool instruments you used, after which they’d purchase the instruments from you. Multi-level advertising and marketing is that if anyone was at that celebration and so they additionally had been focused on turning into a rep for that homewares model and so they needed to promote as nicely. You would grow to be basically their supervisor and you’d get a small proceed of what they’re capable of promote. While I personally do not assume this can be a tremendous nice moneymaking endeavor, it is not unlawful and it’s a true enterprise mannequin. However, with a pyramid scheme, as an alternative of earning profits from promoting product, you generate income from recruiting. And the issue with pyramid schemes are, except you might be on the very, very tip prime of that pyramid, you might be certain to lose cash. Odds are good the services or products you are promoting is wack. I haven’t got one other phrase for that.

Wack works. And realistically, if you end up not capable of make these gross sales, you’ll must complement your earnings by basically recruiting increasingly individuals to return work underneath you. So in actuality, no one is promoting any product. You receives a commission off of recruiting and ultimately this home of playing cards will fall when persons are unable to proceed doing this enterprise.

Right. And sadly, it is one thing that’s grow to be main in like mommy teams and minority communities.

It is simply devastating these communities as a result of you have already got very restricted earnings as it’s. And should you’re being requested to pay to work, that is an enormous pink flag.

And what are another pink flags, you assume, or phrases that may point out {that a} enterprise is a pyramid scheme?

I feel a number of the phrases are fairly innocuous. Things like, Make $1,000 per week from dwelling, tremendous simple, versatile, make money working from home, issues like that. But I feel the factor to look out for is once you discover the people who find themselves on this pyramid scheme collectively are sometimes those hyping one another up on social media. They basically assist to pump up and promote one another’s gross sales. So undoubtedly simply be careful for, I’d say, nearly cult-like habits. There’s so many issues to look out for however a giant one is when individuals attain out to you unsolicited and supply that. Why would somebody really feel so compelled to randomly give you a job? In explicit in an trade that you could be or might not have ever labored in earlier than. I labored on Wall Street. I labored in tech. I’ve had individuals attain out to me on Facebook Messenger saying I ought to promote lip gloss. What would make you assume I’d be good at that?

Like, usually, I simply say, does it go the sniff check? If something, about an interplay feels or smells bizarre, I’d take an additional second to judge whether or not or not it feels legit.

So I agree with you. You know, as soon as once more, take heed to your intestine. These issues are normally very apparent. And if one thing sounds prefer it’s too good to be true, it’s. We’re going to take a brief break, however once we come again, we’ll speak about some merchandise that will price greater than they’re price regardless of the flashy advertising and marketing. Welcome again to Diversifying. I’m right here with Vivian Tu. She’s the girl behind the wildly profitable private finance platform, Your Rich BFF Media. And I requested her a few private finance product that I’ve seen bought throughout social media, and it actually frustrates me. Alright. Well, let’s now pivot to a different rip-off that I’ve talked about. You’ve talked about. I’ve seen increasingly individuals speak about within the private finance area, which I’m glad. Life insurance coverage.

Okay. And to be very, very particular, we aren’t speaking about time period life insurance coverage, though I’m going to place just a little asterisks right here. I’ve seen some sketchy advertising and marketing techniques round time period life insurance coverage as nicely. So watch out on that. But the product time period life insurance coverage I haven’t got an issue with. You know, on its face. Term life insurance coverage is an affordable product, must be one thing like 20 to $40 a month. It is life insurance coverage that you just buy if anyone relies in your earnings and it ends, proper, there’s a time period for it. So you should buy a ten 12 months coverage or a 20 12 months coverage. 30 12 months coverage. It is mainly like a demise profit. So should you go away, your beneficiary will get a fee and that is it. Very, quite simple product. But after all, the monetary trade would not like something easy. So they went and created these different loopy merchandise that blend investing with insurance coverage.

Yeah, complete life insurance coverage is basically a mix of time period life insurance coverage in addition to a possible funding. We’ll name it that, quote unquote.

And that is the place we get into bother, proper? So what number of names have you learnt off the highest of your head, Vivian, for this product that I’m speaking about. Go.

Broadly talking, we obtained complete life insurance coverage. We’ve obtained listed common life. You’ve obtained MPI. I do not even know. That’s a really key one that you just and I each hate, however I do not – Maximum premium indexing. Like, what does that even imply? That’s like three phrases that you just simply put collectively.

Word salad. Like you simply put some phrases collectively and hope individuals would purchase it. And these are in all probability the highest three that I consider.

Yes. Like, , your personal financial institution, your loved ones financial institution.

Exactly. Be your personal financial institution. I’m like, What?

What is that this? What is that this? So my challenge with it’s that for 99% of people who find themselves on the market, this isn’t a superb match. So it is not that the product in and of itself is horrible. It’s horrible for most individuals.

And it is being bought as if it is a good match for 99% of individuals.

So discuss to us about who do you assume is an effective match for complete life insurance coverage?

I feel people who find themselves very excessive web price will discover that complete life could also be helpful. Not solely do you get that demise profit you talked about earlier, that comes with time period life, however there’s a money profit as nicely that builds the longer you might have this coverage. What individuals do not acknowledge is that this money worth builds fairly slowly and in considerably decrease returns than you’d get within the inventory market. The purpose why it really works for individuals who have extremely excessive web price is as a result of they have already got cash within the inventory market. They have already got cash in riskier investments. They are okay to get 4 to five% returns, possibly even much less on a complete life product. However, when you’ve got restricted earnings each month and you aren’t super-uper rich, it’s worthwhile to benefit from your cash. And complete life is just not one of the best ways to do this as a result of why get 4 or 5% returns from life insurance coverage when the S&P 500 simply as an index has returned 10% since its inception yearly? So should you put money into S&P over 40 years, your returns are going to be a lot bigger than should you had bought complete life.

The different pink flag I all the time say round this subject is that if anyone has to crap on 401ks, IRAs, issues which are tried and true and work with the intention to promote their product, that may be a big pink flag.

Agreed. Especially when realizing that many 401k plans have employer match, which may be very actually free cash. If you might have greenback for greenback match, you place in $1. Oh, it is $2. That’s not going to occur by way of complete life insurance coverage.

Okay. Next up. Another one which infuriates me and I’m certain it does for you too. Payday loans.

So payday loans is should you’re in want of fast money and you may’t borrow cash from mates or get a mortgage from a financial institution. People will go mainly to what’s basically a mortgage shark and say, Hey, I wanna pay advance on my paycheck. And they’ll fortunately try this and cost you some exorbitant, loopy rate of interest. So, Vivian, inform me, , what your ideas are on this, as a result of I do know you you do not essentially assume they are a rip-off, however you do assume they’re problematic.

Deeply. So they function throughout the confines of normal banking. It is a mortgage. In the identical method that your bank card is a revolving line of credit score. But payday mortgage places of work are traditionally and oftentimes positioned in black and brown neighborhoods. They are focused to working class communities. And the worst half is, is that they they’re predatory. They prey upon people who find themselves in dire straits to make a sure fee, whether or not that be paying for groceries, to place meals on their desk, to feed their households, paying their lease or making a fee for debt or their automotive. These are true requirements that folks have to pay for and they’re charging generally upwards of fifty% curiosity. So that is like me saying, Hey, Delyanne, are you able to lend me $100 for per week? And I come again per week later with $100 invoice and I’m like right here, here is your like $100 again. And you are like, No, no, no. You owe me $150. Where am I alleged to get that $50 from if I wanted to borrow that $100 within the first place?

Just a fast observe right here. Vivian’s proper. The curiosity that these payday loans usually cost is outrageous. Some of those lenders go even additional and may cost as much as 400% curiosity.

It is so tousled that this product is just not – there is no big label, like, in the identical method that we put labels on cigarette containers, we have to put labels on predatory monetary merchandise so that folks know, Hey, if there’s every other different to this, it is higher than getting an rate of interest of fifty to 100% for a really quick time period.

Yeah, it is wild. Like the bar to take out a payday mortgage is sort of nonexistent and so they try this deliberately, proper? You mainly simply want an I.D., a pay stub, and a few checking account to, like, deposit the cash in. Boom. They’re gonna approve it. So it is deliberately simple in order that they’ll lure you. And we’re not realizing how a lot they’re protecting individuals caught in a cycle of debt and poverty. And that makes it a lot more durable for them to, quote unquote, pull themselves up by their bootstrap. Most Americans reside paycheck to paycheck and , when it is that dire that you will get evicted, you are going to get foreclosed on, I perceive. I do not choose individuals for taking up these form of loans. I, if I used to be in the identical scenario, I’d do it, too. I’m criticizing the trade and never the individuals, proper, who must sadly use these merchandise. Alright. I do know we lined rather a lot at present. Phone and social scams, pyramid schemes, payday loans and insurance coverage. Fortunately, Vivian introduced the cash gems along with her. Let’s recap.

First and foremost, all the time go along with a double intestine examine. Does it go the sniff check? If it feels just a little too good to be true, it in all probability is.

I agree. Really run your numbers. Most of the time there’s one other different and I’d reasonably you employ your vitality and your time and your creativity and your ability, as a result of everyone has expertise to launch your personal enterprise or to even do like a facet hustle as an alternative of pouring your vitality into one thing like an MLM or an organization that is simply going to take advantage of you in the long term as a result of there isn’t any such factor as simple cash.

Nope. And then be actually sure persons are who they are saying they’re. Whether that be anyone reaching out saying they’re your bank card firm. Hang up on them. Call your precise bank card firm to substantiate it. Or if anyone reaches out to you saying that they are Delyanne or that they are Vivian. Double examine their profile. Is the deal with proper? Do they really have the follower rely that they are alleged to have? Are they reaching out to you attempting to promote you on some form of buying and selling course or some form of crypto mining course or like no matter they’re attempting to promote? We do not try this.

No. Never have. Never will. Please do not ever, ever fall for these and yeah. We are just like the anti hype individuals. Okay, if one thing seems like hype, it is not us. So do not fall for the pretend hype. But once more, I feel the most effective factor is to take a breath. Don’t do something. Don’t react. Go discuss to anyone. Go do a intestine examine with anyone else and perform a little research earlier than you ship anyone your private data, cash, something. Thank you to Vivian for approaching the present and sharing her sizzling takes with our listeners. Sadly, I’ve obtained many messages from my neighborhood with heartbreaking tales about individuals scammed out of 1000’s of {dollars}. Unfortunately, there’s little or no you are able to do in these conditions. So the most effective tactic right here is to be vigilant and skeptical, particularly once you’re shopping for one thing on-line or should you’re getting a number of strain to make a monetary choice on the spot. The previous saying is a throwback, however nonetheless related for a purpose: if it sounds prefer it’s too good to be true, that is as a result of it’s. Stay protected on the market, mates. Here’s the place I usually plug the following episode, however the Diversifying Team is taking a a lot deserved summer time break. So as an alternative of recent episodes for the following two weeks, we will share a few of our favourite podcasts with you. We hope you like them as a lot as we do. We’ll be again with a brand new episode on August fifteenth. Until then, joyful listening. Diversifying is a manufacturing of CNN Audio. Megan Marcus is our Executive Producer and Haley Thomas is our Senior Producer. Our producers are Alex Stern and Eryn Mathewson. Our affiliate producers are Charis Satchell and Rafa Farihah and our manufacturing assistant is Eden Getachew. Our intern is Kendall Parks. Mixing and sound design by Francisco Monroy. Artwork designed by Brett Ferdock. Original Music by Andrew Eapen. Our technical director is Dan Dzula. Rafeena Ahmad leads our viewers technique. With help from Chip Grabow, Steve Kiehl, Anissa Gray, Abbie Fentress Swanson, Tameeka Ballance-Kolasny, Lindsay Abrams, Lisa Namerow, and Courtney Coupe. I’m Delyanne Barros. Thanks for listening.



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