Salt Lake Agent Describes Affinity Fraudster Tactics

Michael Pickett, supervisor of the white-collar crime squad in the FBI's Salt Lake City office, describes tactics fraudsters use to prey on potential affinity fraud victims.

Video Transcript

We use the term, these individuals or these perpetrators are wolves in sheep’s clothing, right? They are great salesmen. They will come with a plan on how to solicit investors and part of that plan is, will be they want to prey on the fears of those potential victims, identify what those fears are, and then begin to prey on them.  

And with that, they will pressure them: this is once and a lifetime opportunity, you don’t want to be the one who passed up buying Amazon when it was first beginning or Walmart in its initial stages. You don’t want to be the one that blows that opportunity—once in a lifetime. But you have to do it now. If you wait, this opportunity is gone. And by the way, you are one of the few that I’m actually offering this offer to.  

So, they will use these high pressure tactics, and if someone does not do due diligence, for example, one of the things is that you’ve got to make a decision now, but we want to be quiet, it’s kind of a secret.  I’m not offering this to everyone. Therefore, if you don’t go out and talk about it, a lot of times common sense goes out the door.  

A key to this is communication. If someone is giving these high-pressure sales tactics, go talk to a neighbor, go talk to another family member. Let them help you see what’s going on. Now, I’m not saying all investment is fraud, right? But by talking to someone else, you’ll be able to get a little bit more common sense into the equation. To identify, potentially, what are the high-pressure sales tactics and separate truth verses fiction.

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