A financial broker in California recently got bagged for a very clever crime. The guy used money in his clients’ accounts to make trades, but then kept the profits for himself after cancelling the trades. The con is intended (I think) to make it look like you never made a trade on your client’s behalf, when in fact you did and kept his profit for yourself. But no matter, the more interesting part of the story is where the scammer-broker found his clients.
At the Braemar Country Club in Tarzana, California.
Yup, he found his victims on the golf course at a country club. This is not an isolated ploy. Remember Bernie Madoff, the Fresh Prince Of Wall Street? Where did he find a number of his victims. Yes, that’s right, at a country club.
What makes it so difficult to identify these guys before they strike and clean you out is that they are very smooth. They never throw up clues to betray their intentions. For example, this scammer in California held a 1970’s-themed birthday party for himself at the country club. He handed out CDs that said “Phil’s Saturday Night Fever” with a picture of his head pasted over John Travolta’s.
I see that and my first thought is “Where is my checkbook?”
This, incidentally, is why I only put my money into safe investments like lottery tickets.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to avoid falling prey to the Phils and Bernies out there – only play golf at public courses. Yes, you’ll have to mingle with the unwashed masses and guys with twelve-packs in their golf bags, but at least they won’t clean you out. Scammer-brokers don’t prowl public courses for a simple reason – if you’re playing there, they assume you’re poor.
So suck it up, trade in the Polo shirt for a wife-beater, and hit the public course. You won’t get to feel all special and important, but at least you’ll get to retire.