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Financial experts say consumers should beware of affinity fraud, other threats

Published: Sunday, Jan. 5 2014 6:20 p.m. MST

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azreader1
tucson, AZ

It is particularly galling to me that the crook played on his position of financial responsibility in the Church to lure his unwitting victim. It reminded me of a Church member I knew who was convicted of financial crimes in Arizona (including defrauding an ex-spouse) who later landed a position with considerable credibility (and a new family) back East. Really does make one wonder if a healthy dose of skepticism and even outright mistrust shouldn't accompany all of our financial dealings, and particularly those with fellow Church members.

Max
Charlotte, NC

He needed to do more than check credentials, he needed a seond and third opinion. Actually, being a ward or stake financial clerk requiresz NO finanical or investment experience or expertice. None at all. We see far too much of this. If he had consulted anybody with any expertice in investments he would have been warned NOT to put anything more than a VERY small percentage in options. Actually, he probably would have been warned not to put ANYTHING in options. He would have been warned that options are among the most risky investments and he would have been warned that he would probably lose what he invested. However, if you like to have fun and don't mind the roller coaster, options can be a good form of recreation (as long as the fun offsets the losses). Never put any of your serious money into options and never put all of your money with one investment advisor.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Wolfs in sheep clothing and at your door. The Three Little Pigs story has the same moral to the story. The first two got their house blown over but the third was built of bricks.

Kate Hutch
Kenmore, WA

As George of the Jungle so aptly pointed out, this age-old story persists. Always has, always will. Scammers are drawn to naive church-going people. We can safely assume there is so a higher concentration of dishonest people in churches. A very small amount of research brings up countless cases of this exact scenario. Utah is the scam capital of the US. So many gullible people, so little time. Surf's up! (says the shark). Just look at what the victim thought. Hmm....he goes to my church, he handles money. This was the ONLY criteria he considered before handing over his ENTIRE life savings that took him thirty long years to accumulate. Mr. Scammer gets a very light tap on the wrist even though he just devastated a family's finances. You can rest assured there are more victims. That church congregation better check their books. Utah also has a higher rate of child sex abuse. Why? Same reason. Child sex abusers are drawn to where children are. With the ability to do so much research at your fingertips, there really is no good reason for this to persist. At this point, it is willful ignorance.

Max
Charlotte, NC

Well stated Kate. Wolves go where the sheep are. When we lived in Florida, we saw a lot of the same problems with older retirees. They grew up in a more trusting era and make very good prey for the flim flam man. Very, very sad.

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