Tags: Asset | Protection | Schemes | Scams

Watch Out for Enticing Asset-Protection Schemes, Scams and Shams

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Monday, 25 Jun 2012 08:50 AM Current | Bio | Archive

In tumultuous times, what drives people to take unusual action to protect their assets which is so far from their usual behavior?

Some believe the best way to assure financial survival is to accumulate more valuable resources that will represent continuing purchasing power.

Others figure that it is best to hunker down. Do whatever is necessary to shield their property to stay economically alive until better times arrive.

Greed and fear are such powerful psychological motivators.

This psychology is something that crooks understand well and manipulate even better. It takes experience, and a bit of paranoia or cynicism, to be able see through the facade of believability.

Believability is all the easier to create when people are so powerfully motivated that some action, of some kind, in some way has to be taken.

If you are among the greedy, the vision of making some easy money causes you to under estimate the risks involved. In fact, if the crook is really good, you quite literally are led to convince yourself that there is no risk at all.

At the other end of the spectrum, the emotion of doom and gloom takes over and the flight or fight reaction goes on automatic. As your fear is of the unknown, there is nothing to fight so all that is left is to take flight. You think your wealth is going to a safe haven but the crook knows it's going into his (or her) pocket.

Asset protection has become big business for lawyers. It is hard to find a firm that does not claim that they are the leading experts in the wealth protection industry.

The trouble for clients is that there is no easy way to find out if the lawyer you are consulting has the depth and breadth of knowledge and requisite experience to properly advise you.

Good lawyers tell you that they have to understand your facts, objectives and expectations before it is possible that they can help you rather than hurt you.

A clue that you are being sold a bill of goods is when the lawyer is selling you a trademark or service marked product. Special names like "Total Protection" or "Absolute Wealth Preservation" and names that give a similar meaning are clues that all that the recommendations are more a scheme to relieve you of fees than advice to safeguard you hard-earned life savings.

I like insurance products. Insurance works wonders in the right circumstances. But it's a complicated financial product that few people understand. Fewer yet can make sense of most of the pages upon pages of mathematical.

As a result it is rather easy for a clever scammer to sell the uninitiated a very expensive — read as high commission — product that you may not need, want or can afford.

There is a lot of money on the line. You may find it helpful to have a knowledgeable lawyer help you with drilling down and getting good due diligence on the insurance agent and the products he or she is pitching.
Particularly when it comes to offshore insurance.

Any number of people have been taken in by offshore insurance shams.

Insurance that is claimed to be tax deductible is especially subject to abuse.

The IRS does not like tax abusive offshore insurance structures.
Investment frauds also come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Gold deals are heavily promoted lately. Everybody in the financial services business seems to be pitching things like gold ETFs as being a way to hedge against currency issues.

Clients of mine take physical delivery. I have not seen any reliable proof yet that all the gold that is supposed to be backing up the ETFs is really there.

Even if it is, has it been leased out?

The Iraqi dinar deals are being sucked up by what I thought were otherwise rational people. Do any of these people stop to ask themselves two questions?

Why is this guy calling me so insistent that this deal will make me obscenely wealthy?

Why am I so blessed?

If this was a real deal, then you can bet Wall Street would never let it out of their hands.

How about "Prime Rate Bank Notes"?

Even the most sophisticated financial professionals fall for this one. And their lawyers and accountants. Millions of dollars are stolen every year.

Seems that all these professional overlook some really obvious facts. There is a prime rate; and there are bank notes. Both true.

But there is no such thing as a prime bank. Without a "prime bank," there cannot be a "prime bank note."

There is no question that safeguarding you wealth should be a top priority if you, family, and business are going to financially survive these uncertain times.

There are risks in any complex and sophisticated planning endeavor like asset protection planning. Life is full of risks.

Using experienced and knowing professionals to advise you on deals that are too good to be true may be your shield against schemes, shams and scams.

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2012-50-25
Monday, 25 Jun 2012 08:50 AM
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