Jay Evensen: Why Utahns are so susceptible to fraud

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  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    May 6, 2019 12:19 p.m.

    It is true that greed is what motivates people to trust affinity scammers. However, does that lessen the crime and violation of trust that these scammers do to people? No.

    People know that getting in on an IPO type investment does allow for big financial gains so why not get in on it. With that thinking combined with the trust that their "friend" wouldn't lie to them causes them to set aside their better judgement .

    I know a guy who told his LDS scammer before giving him some money, "This is going against every investment rule and principle that I have for myself. The only reason I am doing it is because I trust you to do what you "personally have guaranteed". The scammer didnt even blink or say anything to walk back his previous "personal guarantee". He could have said that this was actually just an investment where losses could occur. If he did, he would have lost out on the money. He just kept by his previous statement that this return was personally guaranteed so trust him.

  • sashabill , CA
    May 5, 2019 6:16 p.m.

    65TossPowerTrap, Only about 45 percent of Utahns voted for Trump -- a rather poor showing compared to other GOP Presidential candidates who have received in the 60-70 per cent range of votes in Utah. Trump himself, during the 2016 campaign, admitted that he had a "problem" in Utah.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    May 3, 2019 7:41 a.m.

    This is a very interesting article and totally believable for anyone who has lived in Utah in the past or is currently living there. Looking at another article today in which Mitt Romney expresses his desire to hear from Robert Mueller I see some of the usual comments that relate to this article; Just a couple of them for example:

    "We've heard the report! There's nothing here. Move along!"

    "There he goes again. How about if you just read the report. It' s over Mitt."

    Such is the mindset of certain people in Utah (and yes, both these comments came from Utah readers) and illustrates how easy it is for some people to be victims of fraud. All Mitt Romney is suggesting is that the author of the report and the leader of the investigation be allowed to speak candidly rather than relying on the interpretation of the report by the Attorney General who has proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he he is working as the president's personal lawyer rather than working as his oath of office requires - for the protection of the citizens of the United States.

    Not wanting to hear the whole truth is indicative of the easy mark in a fraudulent scheme.

  • Flipphone , 00
    May 2, 2019 4:57 p.m.

    Because from Youth we are taught to trust LDS Church leadership.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, WA
    May 2, 2019 2:09 p.m.

    look no further at how many voted for Donald Trump

  • Liberal Mormon Salt Lake City, UT
    May 2, 2019 12:58 p.m.

    In the immortal words of the apostle, Elder Delbert L. Stapley: "The Saints are suckers."

  • cmbennett1 Stafford, VA
    May 2, 2019 9:28 a.m.

    Trust but verify.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    May 2, 2019 9:09 a.m.

    To "Impartial7" but those are just the liberals. The members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are taught to study things out first, and get the facts before acting.

    TO "65TossPowerTrap" people in Utah didn't vote for Trump because of what Trump was selling. They voted for Trump because of what Hillary was selling.

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    May 2, 2019 7:00 a.m.

    1. I try to be honest in all I do. I try to trust in the goodness of people. Expecting people to be honest can get you into a lot of trouble. If it sounds too-good-to-be-true, it probably is.

    2. Members of the Church have gotten this idea that paying tithing and wealth are somehow linked. Someone comes along with a too-good-to-be-true pitch and they think it is the blessing of the Lord. When the Lord promised to open you the windows of Heaven, He was not promising you wealth. Nowhere in the scriptures is that a promise. There are thousands upon thousands of way He will bless you; probably not wealth you haven't worked for.

  • caleby Bountiful, UT
    May 2, 2019 6:07 a.m.

    It has less to do about trust and gullibility and more to do with plain old greed. I have friends who have lost a bundle to these swindlers. At the end of the day the thought of easy money made them ignore their better judgement.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    May 1, 2019 1:33 p.m.

    With today’s prudent and cautionary tale about Ponzis and gullibility, it is perhaps a bit ironic that Evensen has repeatedly used his forum here to promote a Ponzi scheme. He often decries declining birth rates in the country because an aging population needs younger people to care for them, both physically and financially (Social Security). He supports his pronatalist views by arguing that society must constantly recruit new members—the base of the pyramid must always grow lest the unsupported top collapse.

    Evensen is smart enough to recognize that a financial Ponzi is destined to collapse because there just are not enough resources to keep it going. For investors, the best solution is to exit early before things become unsustainable, absorb the loss, and find a different form of investment. Evensen fails to see that the same applies to population. Ultimately, the population will exceed the available resources. It may not be at 6 billion or 10 billion, but there is a number where it will come crashing down. Rather than throwing more babies at the problem (Evensen’s solution), which will only hasten the day, the answer is to stop now and reform how seniors are supported.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    May 1, 2019 11:23 a.m.

    It's because LDS Church members associate membership and callings with a certain level of righteousness.

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    May 1, 2019 11:23 a.m.

    High Yield/Low Risk = Fraud.

  • SLCPorter SLC, UT
    May 1, 2019 11:18 a.m.

    It is a sad thing, but the truth is that there are financial predators in our state. They know that members of the LDS Church are kind and trusting (normally good qualities) and they take advantage of those traits to lure people into financial scams.

    I work in the financial services industry and I am going to go out on a limb to say that if someone tells you they have a great investment that pays more than 10-15% PER YEAR, it is probably a scam. Please don't fall for these pitches. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is!

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    May 1, 2019 10:30 a.m.

    Perhaps it is because a majority of Utahns voted for Trump. If you believe what he's selling - you'll believe anything.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    May 1, 2019 9:33 a.m.

    Perhaps it is because a majority of Utahns are raised to believe fantasy.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 1, 2019 9:30 a.m.

    True believers who value faith over provable facts are more likely to trust people they should not trust.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    May 1, 2019 9:04 a.m.

    Most Utahn's are taught, from an early age, not to worry about facts, but "trust your feelings". It's not a healthy way to approach financial decisions. Others know that weakness and take advantage of those targets.