From shady snake oil salesmen to the proverbial Nigerian prince, there is no shortage of fraudsters in the world trying to swindle people out of their money. You might think scams only happen to other people. You know better than to fall for phishing scams or multi-layered marketing products that don’t work. But despite best efforts even the most careful, conservative investors can still get tricked.
A retired couple in Ontario Canada sold their home and received $268,000 from the proceeds. They wanted to invest in something short term and gave the entire amount to an investment company, MJF Financial Consultants. The couple was very explicit that they will need this money in the near future and did not want to risk losing any of the principle. The company told them to not worry.
Well unfortunately the money-grubbing clod of a salesman forged the couple’s signature, and gambled their $268,000 in risky stocks. When the couple asked for the money back, the investment firm had lost $80,000 of their money.
“We had trusted him to make the right choices for us.” – Don, the husband.
A government investigation has found the company committed forgery and acted inappropriately, and it should reimburse the $80,000 back to the couple. However, this recommendation is non-binding, meaning the company doesn’t have to if they don’t want to. Welcome to Canada, where punishment for white collar crime is often just a slap on the wrist 😛 Unfortunately the couple may never see their $80,000 ever again 🙁
“I never had any health problems prior to this. I am now on two heart meds, five times a day. I am furious.” – Elaine, the wife.
Being the victim of fraud and misrepresentation is often harder to avoid. There’s no way to tell for certain which mutual fund dealer will decide to fake a client’s signature, or commit embezzlement or other financial crimes.