On several occasions, I had scammers reaching out to me via different platforms with different storylines but thus far I have yet to lose a dime to them except time. Even though it takes up my time, conversing with them would waste their resources and also allow me to understand more about their modus operandi. It keeps me aware of the latest tricks up their sleeves.
Firstly, always bear in mind the main objectives of these scammers are usually retrieving financial or personal information from you. Recently, I have been approached on Instagram by a “beautiful lady”, which by the way, one can never be sure if you are catfished. It started off with a conversation ensued asking me about my career, which I believe, is one of their qualifiers to determine my financial status. The scammer mentioned she was an entrepreneur in the clothing industry. Even though she did look fashionable on her Instagram showing off her Chanel bag and watches, I can't verify if the photos are real or stolen. Nonetheless, this creates the perception that she is successful. Now why would a busy successful woman be spending her time talking to a nobody, aka me. There is no free lunch on earth, unless of course if they are your parents.
A reg flag pops up when I started asking for her company’s website. In this day and age it’s only normal to have one. However, no website was provided when I probed for it, and the scammer simply brush it off saying she had provided it earlier. The bait finally came when the scammer mentioned about watching the trend of Crypto. This was done to pique my interest in Crypto. As I was invested / gambling in crypto before, I made a comment: “Charlie Munger has made a statement denouncing crypto, something useless and not backed by anything.” Her rebuttal was simple and without substance saying that he would prefer people to be invested in stocks. Let’s not brush off Charlie as he’s the second in command in Berkshire Hathaway, and their class A share is worth $461,000 USD. I could easily afford a 4 room HDB flat in Singapore if I own one of these shares.
Another bait came the next day when the scammer sent me a screenshot of her trade and I’ve not heard of the coin QXG. Even when I googled it, the results were showing me some graphic cards. When I searched QXG/USDT, it was listed on Adv Chain Exchange, a very dodgy exchange with a very simple website layout. There was no site introducing what QXG coin is about. Thus, I probed further and she mentioned it's one of the smaller coins in the market. Alarm bells are ringing, based on the screenshot she earned 15% and this would require a lot of volatility.
The scammer could be setting the trap yet again to get me interested, waiting for me to ask how I should start investing. Of course, I played along and asked her about it. She created a scarcity informing me that she wasn’t a sales person and that she’s only learning how to invest from her aunt’s hedge fund company. Long story short, I got restless from the long conversation and told her I’m impressed with how she was trying to scam me but I ain’t interested.
Do take note when someone talks to you out of the blue, always be wary when they start to get you interested in investment. Remember that if it can make money that easily, why would anyone easily share it?