The US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation has produced an hour-long documentary called Tricks of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud, based on four years of research.

You get to hear fraud artists describe how they con people out of their money. The film is very instructive. It is well worth ordering. Limited quantities of the documentary are available on DVD at no cost.

You learn how to identify the many different persuasion tactics fraudsters use and how effective the tactics can be on people who haven’t learned to protect themselves. The documentary begins by identifying the most vulnerable audience – overconfident, financially literate men 55 to 65, who engage in risky behaviour. 

What is particularly interesting about this documentary is that it is based on what is learned from listening to hundreds of undercover tapes of con men pitching victims.

One of the most riveting moments in the film is the simulation of a telemarketer phoning a potential investor from a boiler room. If you want to learn how to develop your own “refusal” script, go on line, and look at FINRA’s website and order this documentary.

If you happen to fit the criteria of the most vulnerable target, you watch it, especially if you think it would never happen to you.

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