This is the headline of the Philippine Daily Inquirer this morning (excluding the words in the parenthesis, these are my additions). And apparently some of the folks you might know have been caught up in these scams lately. First it was the Francswiss scandal that got middle-income to upper-income internet investors. Then now this news of PIPC and one of its senior officers alledgedly absconding with as much as $250Million!?! of “rich” peoples money… the innuendo being that it is the beso-beso crowd that networked with their like friends convincing them to march like lemmings to the cliff’s financial edge!?! Well, first of all, it is UTTERLY DESPICABLE and OUTRAGEOUS that folks would set up scams and cheat people, rich or poor, smart or dumb. That is first and foremost. I think if they are found guilty of this, they should be given novel food punishments like having to bathe for a day in a swimming pool of vinegar and salt with skin wounds all over. But let me rant on something else… the newspaper headline would be more appropriate for me if one of the suggested words in parenthesis were used instead. HELLO?! Why would you put your money with folks or companies who are of questionable pedigrees at best, when there are so many legitimate investment vehicles around? When folks are promising returns on your money that are too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true!!! I am currently hot under the collar as I occasionally get asked financial/investment questions by highly educated, well employed and well to do folks and friends like “should I put my money with so and so,” or “do you think this guy offering 15% guaranteed return is for real,” or other such questions… And my answer is always, go with the conservative option. Keep your hard earned money safe. Check out the institution. Be careful. It is weird that the same folks that store their $500 watch in a $1,000 home safe would so blithely hand out $50,000 to a relative unknown, simply because another “friend” vouches for them. I realize I may irritate a lot of my own friends and acquaintances with this post, but the reality is… LOOK CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU LEAP. As P.T. Barnum once said, there’s a sucker born every minute. Don’t get me totally wrong, I feel very badly for those who lost any money, and I am all for serious capital punishment of the perpetrators. But you have to look out for your own interests, particularly when it comes to money, period.
P.S. I wrote a subsequent post to this one here. For those who are interested in this topic and have just found it through a google search, you may want to read the follow-up post as well.